25 May 2021 | 11.18 am
Green Hydrogen Plant To Take Root In Cork
Pearse Flynn’s €120m venture seeks planning permission
25 May 2021 | 11.18 am
Cork entrepreneur Pearse Flynn has revealed plans to build Ireland’s first green hydrogen facility, which aims to create 85 jobs and be operational before the end of 2023.
Flynn’s energy company, EI-H2, is seeking planning permission for the 50MW electrolysis plant in Aghada, Co. Cork, which when operational will remove 63,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually from Irish industry and power generation.
If granted planning permission, the site will be one of the biggest green energy facilities of its kind in the world. The cost of construction and connection to the electricity grid is expected to be in the region of €120m.
The technology being 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 Aghada 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.
“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,” said Flynn. “There inevitably will be ‘curtailed’ energy that will go to waste unless we find ways of using it.”
Flynn is a former president of Canadian networks solutions company Newbridge Network, which was acquired by Alcatel in 2000 in a deal worth c.€12bn.
Flynn is also owner and CEO of insolvency practitioners Creditfix, and a former owner of Livingston Football Club, which he bought in 2005 after it went into administration.
Flynn also owns Green Rebel Group, which provides aerial and subsea surveying services to offshore wind farms. The company acquired Crosshaven Boatyard in Cork in 2020 to serve as a base for the new operation to survey, equip and service a network of planned wind farms.
Commenting on the EI-H2 facility plan, foreign affairs minister Simon Coveney said that every business in Ireland should be looking at ways to decarbonise.
“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,” Coveney added.
Flynn is working with energy consultancy Energy Services for the green hydrogen facility project. He has also appointed Energy Services founder Tom Lynch as CEO of EI-H2.
EI-H2 will shortly begin pre-planning discussions with Cork County Council, the department of the environment and other interested parties ahead of the formal lodging of planning permission later this year.
Photo: Pearse Flynn (right) and Tom Lynch (left), with Minister Simon Coveney (Pic: Brian Lougheed)