Published May 16, 2022

Driving Decarbonisation to the Heart of Ardagh Group


Climate change is the defining challenge of our time. While progress has been made in the transition to a green economy, much more must be done to ensure the UK meets its target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Achieving this goal means revolutionising how energy is generated, used and stored, and large energy users have a particularly important role to play. 

For many, the prospect is daunting. The opportunities of embracing zero-carbon technologies can pale in comparison to the perceived costs of upgrading legacy systems, the potential disruption to business, and the lack of in-house expertise. That’s where Business Solutions from ESB Energy can help. With a £75m support fund to help large energy users decarbonise their organisations, Business Solutions have partnered with some of the best-known companies in the UK and Ireland and have helped them realise the benefits of working towards a more sustainable future and a circular economy. 

As a company committed to environmental responsibility and sustainable manufacturing processes, Ardagh Group needed a partner that understood its mandate for a low-carbon future and could deliver a project at scale – and that was ESB Energy.

ESB Energy Business Solutions has delivered a best-in-class integrated battery and grid platform solution for Ardagh Group to transform how energy is managed at Ardagh Group’s glass manufacturing plant in Irvine, Scotland – driving decarbonisation to the heart of the business.


The Challenge

Sustainability is at the core of Ardagh Group, and the organisation has mapped out ambitious commitments in terms of reducing CO2 emissions and their impact on the environment.

Furthermore, as a large manufacturing facility with a global roster of clients, Ardagh Group’s Irvine plant requires a large amount of energy to support near constant production. Located in an area where the electricity grid is subject to power dips which have the potential to impact the company’s glass production, the company required a back-up power source which would enable it to ride out these dips and maintain critical systems.

“We needed a cost-efficient, 100% effective battery storage solution capable of supporting our operational requirements and reducing the plant’s reliance on the grid, as well as its environmental impact.” – Annelene Fisser, CSR & Sustainability Manager, Ardagh Group



The Solutions

A 2-Megawatt battery storage system combined with demand-side response technology was designed by ESB Energy to alleviate pressure on the grid during peak consumption times and return excess energy when it is not required. 

This solution is a combination of two parts:

  • Firstly, the Tesla battery is designed to efficiently store energy during periods of lower demand at the plant and to support demand during intermittent power failures. This means that Ardagh Group benefits from a secure, resilient and reliable supply of green energy, helping to support its sustainability agenda, as well as an additional stream of revenue through the sale of energy back to the grid.
  • The second part of the solution is a grid-optimising platform delivered by ESB Energy’s partner, GridBeyond, enabling Ardagh Group to participate in the National Grid’s Firm Frequency Response service. In practice, the battery reduces the plant’s reliance on the grid and when excess energy stored by the battery is not required, it can be delivered back to the National Grid. This Battery Storage project is a UK-first in the Manufacturing Industry.

By managing their electricity use in this way, they can choose to charge up the battery with renewable energy thereby reducing their dependence on the grid and reducing their environmental impact.

ESB Energy funded the battery installation and the costs are paid back over a few years by earnings through the grid.



The Results

This energy storage solution helps Ardagh Group to achieve industry-leading sustainability, as well as protecting Ardagh Group’s Irvine plant from ‘brownouts,’ and providing them with energy security and resilience. It also provides an additional revenue stream through the sale of excess energy to the UK National Grid, which also helps in balancing the UK National Grid.


Dramatically Reduce Your Energy Costs with no upfront investment

ESB Energy works in partnership with large energy users to deliver sustainable solutions across battery storage, heating & cooling, and lighting that dramatically reduce energy costs and carbon emissions.

The company has already delivered projects for more than 300 large businesses across the UK and Ireland. Their customers include Medite Smartply, the Dublin Airport Authority, ABP Food Group and Ardagh Group amongst many others. They have a launched a £75m fund to help large energy users decarbonise while making energy cost savings.


Find out more about ESB Energy Business Solutions work with Ardagh Group in the video below, or visit


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