RICHMOND, BC, July 8 /CNW/ - VRB Power Systems Inc. (TSX-V: VRB), a world
leader in innovative energy storage solutions, is pleased to announce recent
developments regarding the pending sales contract for a large scale VRB Energy
Storage System (VRB-ESS(TM)) at the Sorne Hill Wind farm, located in Buncrana,
Ireland ("Sorne"). In addition, VRB Power has contracted Mr. Kieran O'Brien, a
previous Managing Director of Ireland's Energy Supply Board (ESB), to assist
the company in its storage adoption objectives within the Irish market.
Several developments have occurred within the Sorne wind farm project.
Primary amongst these have been the internal ownership restructuring within
Tapbury management, advancements in planning approvals and quantifications of
value streams. Several additional steps are in progress including conclusion
of licence applications for the VRB-ESS, final building design and trading
license. Construction of the 6MW wind farm is complete to foundation stage.
Wind turbine delivery is expected in the next three months. VRB Power
continues to work closely with Tapbury Management and Sustainable Energy
Ireland to complete the requirements necessary to finalize the pending
VRB Power has also recently contracted Mr. Kieran O'Brien to assist the
company in its storage adoption objectives within the Irish market.
"We believe that the economics of energy supply in Ireland and the
political realities of the EU emission reduction targets will require energy
storage of several hundred MW in order to allow wind penetration levels to
reach 20% or more," states Tim Hennessy, CEO of VRB Power, "There are several
potential value streams and monetising them requires considerable local
knowledge and credibility. Mr O'Brien will be involved in determining a
strategy to address any issues on the adoption of storage for VRB Power's
energy storage products and assessment of infrastructure the company should
establish in Ireland such as services and project management capabilities
including tertiary institution involvement for value engineering" concludes
Mr. O'Brien retired three years ago from his position as Managing
Director of ESB National Grid, Ireland's independent transmission system
operator. He served as a member of the Executive Management Group of ESB
(Ireland's Electricity Supply Board) for more than 15 years and worked for the
company for more than 30 years. During his time as MD, ESB National Grid,
Ireland deregulated its electricity industry and commenced a major programme
of renewables investment, mainly in wind power.
In 1998 he oversaw the establishment of ESBI Alberta, a company formed to
provide transmission administration services for the province for a period of
five years. Mr. O'Brien chaired the board for this period. Mr. O'Brien has
also served two three year terms as a member of the Officer's Council of the
World Energy Council (WEC).
Until ten years ago, Ireland was self-sufficient in gas from its Kinsale
gas complex. As output declined and demand exceeded supply, it was
inter-connected with the UK and now imports more than 90% of its gas through
the UK gas inter-connectors. The UK's North Sea gas production is now also in
rapid decline, so Irish gas imports must be sourced as far away as Norway and
Siberia. Winter 2008 spot gas price is (euro)13 per GJ at which the
"fuel-only" cost of Ireland's most efficient power plants will be higher than
the feed-in tariff paid for wind energy. Ireland's policy to integrate as much
wind energy as possible thus makes economic and strategic as well as
The extreme variability of wind power output can be managed at low rates
of penetration but as wind penetration increases, Ireland's fossil fleet is
ill suited to balance the stochastic variability imposed by wind power.
Completely new balancing plant is needed that can deliver rapid downward and
VRB can deliver this without consuming fossil fuel, thus preventing the
need for curtailment of wind power or the use of inefficient and polluting gas
turbines or diesel engines.
Another large potential market within Ireland involves the unique concept
of "Autoproduction" - distributed small scale wind and storage which is
additional to large scale wind farm and storage integration. This concept
applies to small commercial companies or industries where it is economically
attractive to install a single medium scale wind turbine (600 to 900kW) with a
medium scale modular VRB-ESS in order to shave daytime peak loads for the
business entity using wind power generated at night. The spread over many
installations of this type will reduce maximum demands on the grid, reduce
capacity constraints on distribution feeders and of course contribute to
overall emission reduction targets.
By being "modular", VRB Power intends to develop its energy storage
systems as a standard pre-approved concept that can be easily permitted
throughout Ireland. The value proposition is simple, clear and is an activity
which lends itself to large scale rollout and financial engineering (BOO/T)
leveraging efficient tax structures in Ireland.
VRB Power's strategic approach will be in developing one value stream at
a time, which the company believes is the key to energy storage adoption. The
value streams include; spinning reserve, ancillary services and market
arbitrage (day ahead forecasting). Values from issues such as grid firming/
capital deferral, wind curtailment and emissions reduction (macro policy) are
additional considerations which need to be monetised.
About VRB Power
Headquartered in Richmond, Canada, VRB Power Systems Inc. is an energy
storage technology developer which is marketing, selling and manufacturing
products utilizing the patented VRB Energy Storage System ("VRB-ESS(TM)"). The
VRB-ESS is an advanced flow battery technology that can economically store and
supply large amounts of electricity on demand and is focused on stationary
applications. It is a long life, cost effective, low maintenance, efficient
technology that allows for the scalability of power and storage capacity
independently. The VRB-ESS is particularly beneficial to renewable energy
providers, utilities and end users through its ability to "inventory"
electricity, allowing for the optimal match of supply and demand.
Caution regarding forward-looking statements: VRB Power's press releases
may contain forward-looking statements. These statements are based on
management's current expectations and beliefs which are subject to a number of
known and unknown risks and uncertainties (including, but not limited to, the
risk factors described in VRB Power's Annual Information Form filed with the
British Columbia Securities Commission and available at www.sedar.com) that
could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or
implied in our forward-looking statements. The Company does not assume any
obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press
The TSX Venture Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy
or accuracy of this release.
Vince Sorace, President
For further information:
For further information: please contact VRB Power Systems Inc. at (604)
247-3300 or Investor Relations at (604) 247-5001; Or visit the company's web
site at: www.vrbpower.com