A Cork-based green energy company has announced plans for Ireland’s first green hydrogen facility, creating 85 jobs for the region.
EI-H2 intends to seek planning permission for a 50MW electrolysis plant in Aghada which when operational will remove 63,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually from Irish industry and power generation.
Upon completion, the site will be one of the biggest green energy facilities of its kind in the world.
Over 85 full-time direct and indirect jobs will be created and EI-H2 Aghada hopes to be operational before the end of 2023.
The cost of construction and connection to the electricity grid is expected to be in the region of €120m.
The technology planned for the Aghada site allows for surplus electricity from renewable generation, particularly offshore wind, to be utilised in a process of electrolysis to break down water into its component elements of hydrogen and oxygen.
The site will aim to provide over 20 tonnes of green, safe hydrogen per day to the commercial market.
The green hydrogen produced at the plant can be safely added to existing natural gas supplies, helping high-volume energy producers to reduce their carbon emissions.
Owner of the company, Pearse Flynn, said that the production of hydrogen from excess wind capacity “will play a significant role in Ireland’s decarbonisation, given that Ireland could be generating 8 GW of offshore wind by 2030”.
There inevitably will be ‘curtailed’ energy that will go to waste unless we find ways of using it. EI-H2 is planning the production of safe and environmentally sound green hydrogen that will allow industry to decarbonise.
“This initiative will create and sustain local jobs, and go a long way towards helping Ireland meet its international obligations on climate change,” he said.
Welcoming the announcement, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, said that the plan put forward by EI-H2 “would go some way towards helping us achieve what might now seem like impossible targets”.
Every business in Ireland should be looking at ways to decarbonise, starting with the largest, and working our way through our entire economy.
“The production of green hydrogen using surplus wind energy is just one way that we can help put Ireland on a solid environmental footing, and show global leadership in energy projects. I would like to wish Pearse Flynn and the team at EI-H2 every success as they develop this, and other projects, in this space in the years to come,” he said.
EI-H2 will shortly begin an intensive round of pre-planning discussions with Cork County Council, the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications and other interested parties ahead of the formal lodging of planning permission later this year.