Size of VRB-ESS for Sorne Hill increased to 2MW x 6hr and completion of Sustainable Energy Ireland / Tapbury Feasibility Study

    VANCOUVER, March 26 /CNW/ - VRB Power Systems Inc. (TSX-V: VRB) announces
that the VRB-ESS(TM) being sold to Tapbury Management Limited ("Tapbury") for
Phase II of the Sorne Hill Wind Farm in County Donegal, Ireland ("Sorne Hill")
has been increased in size from a 1.5MW x 8hr system to a 2MW x 6hr system.
    The value of this contract to VRB Power has increased from US$6.3 million
to approximately US$9.4 million. The agreement remains subject to execution of
final contracts between Tapbury and VRB Power.
    The re-sizing of this system follows completion of the independent
feasibility study on the implementation of the VRB-ESS at Sorne Hill jointly
commissioned by Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) and Tapbury. This study
validates a number of the key revenue streams that will be generated by the
VRB-ESS. It also concludes that the optimum size of the system is 2MW of power
with 6 hours of storage and the ability to provide 3MW of pulse power for 10
minute periods every hour in order to deal with short term volatility in wind
    The study focuses on wind generation at Sorne, and also shows the
potential for storage across Ireland with respect to the planned roll out of
wind power and Ireland's Kyoto commitments. A summary of the study has been
published on SEI's web site ( and is also available on VRB Power's
web site ( under the "VRB News" section.
    "Wind energy is one of Ireland's largest accessible renewable energy
resources," said David Taylor CEO of Sustainable Energy Ireland. "In the
recent Energy White Paper, the Irish Government set a target to deliver 33% of
electricity from renewable sources by 2020, a significant proportion of which
will be provided by wind. Integrating large amounts of wind power presents
many challenges with regard to grid upgrade costs, power quality and of course
intermittency management. Through its funding of this study, SEI is therefore
pleased to be supporting activities which will enhance the understanding and
market uptake of these energy storage technologies and which will help us to
realise the full potential of wind energy in Ireland."
    "We are delighted with the findings of this study," stated John Ward,
Director of Tapbury. "The report provides technical and economic validation
for a number of the key revenue streams that we had previously identified for
the planned implementation of the VRB-ESS at Sorne Hill. The increase in the
size of the system enables us to maximize these revenue streams and, when
combined with additional market based payments, shown in the Grant Thornton
report included in the study, provides a strong economic case for this
purchase. In particular, the study demonstrates the potential for purchasers
of VRB Energy Storage Systems in the Irish market to achieve a very healthy
IRR of 17.5% on their investment."
    "This study now provides us with the data and validation required to
finalize our off-take and other revenue agreements for Sorne Hill. This will
in turn enable us to complete our project finance requirements and execute
final contracts with VRB Power Systems," concluded Ward.
    "This study demonstrates the economic viability of our systems for wind
farms such as Sorne Hill," stated Tim Hennessy, CEO of VRB Power Systems.
"This is largely due to our ability to enable wind powered generation to match
many of the characteristics of conventional 'base load and peaking plant',
thereby allowing wind power to be dispatched in a similar way to conventional
generation. The report also highlights the need for storage in Ireland to
enable the successful roll-out of wind generation from the current installed
base of approx. 800MW up to and beyond the 3,000MW currently contracted or
proposed, and to deal with the intermittency and constraint issues already
being experienced. It is estimated that at least 700MW of storage may be
required across Ireland. This sale will provide us with a "blue-print" to
execute on similar opportunities in Ireland and worldwide," concluded

    About SEI

    Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) is the statutory authority charged with
promoting and assisting the development of sustainable energy. SEI is funded
by the Irish Government under the National Development Plan 2007 - 20013 with
programmes part-financed by the European Union. SEI provides energy policy
information to the Government and is responsible for managing a number of
demonstration and Union. SEI provides energy policy information to the
Government and is responsible for managing a number of demonstration and
information dissemination programmes in Ireland. Sustainable Energy Ireland
website is

    About Sorne Wind and Tapbury Management

    Sorne Wind Energy Limited is a private company formed to develop a 32 MW
wind farm at Sorne Hill, Buncrana, Co. Donegal, Ireland. The budgeted
development cost for this wind farm was (euro)40 million. Construction has
been completed and all 16 turbines have been generating electricity since July
    Tapbury Management Limited is a private company formed specifically to
provide administration and management services to Sorne Wind Energy Limited.
This Company will oversee the implementation and the operation of the VRB-ESS
at Sorne.

    About VRB Power

    Headquartered in Vancouver, 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 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.
    The VRB-ESS is well suited for a variety of applications. Enabling the
provision of "firm" capacity from intermittent renewable generation such as
wind and solar; more cost effective and efficient generation of electricity in
remote areas; capital deferral for utilities; and load levelling (peak
shaving) applications. The VRB-ESS is also capable of providing backup power
solutions including applications for utility sub-stations and
telecommunication sites. The VRB-ESS is characterized by having the lowest
ecological impact of all energy storage technologies and is unlike most other
conventional energy storage systems that rely on substances such as lead or

    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 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.

    Simon Clarke
    Executive Vice President, Corporate Development

For further information:

For further information: VRB Power Systems Inc. at (604) 697-8820;
Investor Relations at (604) 697-8835; Or visit the company's web site at:

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