ESB launches joint venture with dCarbonX explores offshore green hydrogen storage

Posted on 14 September 2022

ESB Energy and dCarbonX have confirmed a joint venture agreement intending to develop large-scale energy storage projects off the Irish coastline, which could incorporate green hydrogen development.

With previous working partnerships exploring the feasibility of integrating offshore green hydrogen storage to support the expanding renewable energy industry in Ireland, the two businesses will now expand their collaboration for additional projects.

The joint project will explore three selected green hydrogen storage opportunities, predominantly based on proposed decarbonisation clusters east of Dublin, at the ESB MoneyPoint project and Project Kestrel in Cork. This project will focus on redeveloping the decommissioned gas facilities at the Kinsale Head site for green hydrogen storage.

Jim Dollard, the executive director of Generation and Trading at ESB, explains that ESB understands the importance of large-scale energy storage and the role green hydrogen can play in delivering a net zero future. The joint venture provides an extended platform to work on vital strategic integrated assets that enable Ireland to achieve its climate goals and boost energy security.

The joint venture with dCarbonX contributes to ESB’s goal of becoming the UK’s next major green supplier. Last year, ESB took a 75% share in energy supplier So Energy, combining the two companies under one brand. Through this acquisition, ESB energy’s domestic customers were combined with So Energy’s existing group, expanding the supplier base by 35% to over 300,000 domestic customers.

In the UK, the hydrogen sector continues accelerating its project plans in response to the increased government targets. Earlier this year, ScottishPower’s parent business Iberdrola and oil and gas major BP confirmed a new strategic partnership to produce green hydrogen. The companies will explore large-scale production of green hydrogen to reach a production capacity of 600ktpa, combined with renewable energy within the UK, Spain and Portugal. Additional derivatives, like green ammonia, could be exported to Northern Europe after reaching the green hydrogen capacity.

ESB’s plan with dCarbonX will utilise the renewable energy potential of Ireland via its onshore and offshore wind capacity and convert it into green hydrogen to support the challenges of intermittent generation. The agreement with ESB is another critical step in developing large-scale energy storage facilities in Ireland, stated Tony O’Reilly, the CEO of dCarbonX. dCarbonX has already begun exploring suitable offshore reservoirs that can support hydrogen storage.

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