Offshore oil vets spin-out accelerates Irish utility ESB’s hydrogen decarbonization plans
Irish utility ESB takes first steps to explore potential for industrial-scale storage of green hydrogen in vast oil and gas structures dumped under the seabed at sea, with signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the developer of underground energy assets dCarbonX to build the first projects.
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As part of the MoU, ESB and dCarbonX will work together on the full chain of project development, from licensing, environmental studies and site selection, through project sanctioning, to infrastructure development. offshore, commissioning and operations, for projects in areas close to the existing utility. and planned future infrastructure ”.
The tie-up also includes a proposed ‘Green Hydrogen Valley’ megaproject centered around Dublin’s Poolbeg Peninsula, which would be an integrated green hydrogen production and storage complex that can be used to decarbonize transport. heavy, shipping, industry and electricity. generation.
“ESB recognizes that hydrogen produced from renewable electricity will play an important role in decarbonising many sectors,” said Padraig O’Hiceadha, ESB’s production and trading strategy manager.
“To this end, we plan to use our existing capacities and the future growth of renewable energies to become a leading player in the production of renewable hydrogen on a large scale, thus enabling renewable electricity, in the form of electrons or green molecules, to meet the energy needs of Ireland’s future. zero carbon economy. “
The plans for projects to produce hydrogen powered by the sea wind are based on a rocket, given the industrial match between the energy profile of offshore wind and the energy demand of electrolysis, but it has particular potential for Ireland, where the country could capitalize on a domestic demand and transformed into a mixture of electricity and hydrogen for transport to international markets.
Tony O’Reilly, CEO of dCarbonX, said: “Large-scale underground storage of green hydrogen is essential for Ireland to fully exploit its significant indigenous wind resources for both domestic and domestic consumption. export abroad.
“Our partnership with ESB leverages our core underground capacities, offshore operating expertise and project management skills to provide the required underground energy storage solutions. This [is a] major energy transition project of strategic Irish and European importance. “
Large-scale green hydrogen storage is viewed by dCarbonX, which was trained by three former underground oil and gas engineers, as “the cornerstone of future low-carbon, resilient and reliable energy sectors”.
The company’s so-called “ Arc ” (avoid, reduce, capture) decarbonation solution works on the principle of first enabling the production of green hydrogen and geothermal energy by using sub-energy storage. marine, while capturing and sequestering CO2 from fossil fuel industry operations.
“Storing green hydrogen on a large scale in offshore underground caverns is a safe and cost-effective solution, enabling the large-scale deployment of intermittent renewable energy while improving national security of supply and reducing energy losses. system, ”the company said in a statement announcing the launch of the ESB project.
Last month, dCarbonX signed a strategic agreement with contractor CGG to work on an upcoming pipeline of clean energy projects offshore Ireland and the UK, including geothermal power and sites storage of CO2, hydrogen and ammonia.
ESB has recently launched a plan to transform Ireland’s only coal-fired power plant in a green energy hub, comprising a giant energy management station, a deep water construction facility and a hydrogen storage complex, all connected to a 1.4 GW floating wind power plant off the coast of the west coast of the country in the Atlantic Ocean.