Upon completion, the new green energy facility is expected to create more than 85 direct and indirect jobs.
Energy company EI-H2 plans to build a 50MW electrolysis plant in Aghada, Co Cork, which would be Ireland’s first green hydrogen facility.
The site, which is currently awaiting planning permission, will create more than 85 full-time direct and indirect jobs upon completion.
The cost of construction and connection to the electricity grid is expected to be in the region of €120m. The aim is for the site to be fully operational by the end of 2023, and EI-H2 said it could remove 63,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year from Irish industry and power generation.
The Aghada site will allow 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 facility aims to provide more than 20 tonnes of green, safe hydrogen per day to the commercial market. EI-H2 said the green hydrogen produced at the plant can be safely added to existing natural gas supplies.
The proposed site for the facility was selected because of its proximity to power generating stations, heavy industry and an oil refinery.
EI-H2 is owned by Cork businessman Pearse Flynn, who also recently set up offshore windfarm management company Green Rebel Marine.
Flynn said Ireland is starting to take leadership in tackling the climate emergency. “The production of hydrogen from excess wind capacity will play a significant role in Ireland’s decarbonisation, given that Ireland could be generating 8GW of offshore wind by 2030,” he said.
“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.”
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, TD, said the plan from EI-H2 will go some way towards helping Ireland achieve its climate targets. The Government approved a revised Climate Action Bill earlier this year with binding targets on reducing carbon emissions.
“Every business in Ireland should be looking at ways to decarbonise, starting with the largest and working our way through our entire economy,” Coveney added.
“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.”