Construction work is getting under way in Co Offaly on the largest battery storage power plants in Europe.

South Korean energy company, Hanwha Energy Corporation (HEC) and their Irish partners, Offaly-based Lumcloon Energy Limited, are turning the sod on two new 100MW Energy Storage plants near Ferbane and Shannonbridge.

The plans are designed to support renewable energy and will create 120 jobs at the construction stage. 

The new facilities, based on state-of-the-art battery storage technology which has been deployed around the world, is an efficient resource for grid stability and reliability. 

The facility is a backup source of power and will be capable of being called upon almost instantly to provide the system services necessary to bolster a renewable-based electricity grid.

The two facilities are unobtrusive, almost silent in operation and not a power plant in the conventional sense.

One of the plants is being constructed in the site of the old ESB Power Station in Lumcloon near Ferbane.

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton welcomed the investment and said HEC's decision will contribute towards the 70% renewable electricity target contained in the Government's Climate Action Plan.