Toxic fumes from fire at proposed battery plant would hit Rathtoe school 'within 3 minutes'

A decision is due by Carlow County Council on January 31

Darren Hassett

Reporter:

Darren Hassett

Email:

news@carlowlive.ie

Carlow Carlow Carlow

File photo of a battery energy storage system

A councillor has raised concerns over a planning application to build a battery energy storage facility at Kellistown East, Carlow.

Cllr Will Paton has said "the toxic fumes from a fire at the facility would hit the local national school of 100 pupils within 3 minutes if the wind was blowing in the right direction on the day of a fire". 

A public meeting was held in Rathtoe on Thursday night around concerns over the proposal by Engie to erect a battery energy storage facility on the edge of the village. 

The company's application seeks a ten year planning permission for the development of an up to 100MW battery energy storage facility that will provide energy services to the national grid.

The development will consist of construction and operation of up to 34 metal containers to store up to a project total of up to 100MW (13.2 tons of Lithium lon) sealed battery cells each with entrances, fire supression systems, heating ventilation and air conditioning systems at Kellistown East. 

Cllr Will Paton said: "The main problem I see is the risk of toxic fumes in the event of a fire. The meeting looked at a video of the fire in Brussels for a similiar storage facility by the same company.

"The real risk is that the toxic fumes from a fire at the facility would hit the local national school of 100 pupils within 3 minutes if the wind was blowing in the right direction on the day of a fire.

"It is a big issue for locals."

At the meeting elected representatives were asked to meet with the Director of Services for Planning and express their opposition to the proposal.

An update on the progress of the planning application by Engie was given to those in attendance and members of the public were informed that they could still make submissions on the planning application until January 10.

A decision is due by Carlow County Council on the planning application January 31.