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Back to Press Releases 12 August 2021

ESB and dCarbonX launch Kinsale Head Hydrogen Storage project

London and Cork, 12 August 2021

ESB and dCarbonX have today launched ‘Green Hydrogen @ Kinsale,’ an integrated project to develop large-scale storage for green hydrogen off the coast of County Cork.
This project – pending licence and planning approvals – could have the potential to store up to three TWh of green hydrogen and hydrogen carriers, the equivalent of approximately 10 per cent of current Irish annual electricity consumption.

A proprietary evaluation of the depleted gas field reservoir took place earlier this year to identify the potential for large-scale storage of green hydrogen. Since then, a comprehensive work programme has begun, comprising of subsurface analysis, mineralogy, capacity modelling, injection and withdrawal rates, compression, drilling evaluation, well design, retention assurance, monitoring, electrolysis and infrastructure tie-in.
This is the latest project undertaken by ESB and dCarbonX following their partnership announcement in May, with the companies identifying and developing subsea energy storage offshore opportunities in Ireland. The companies have also proposed the development of a new ‘Green Hydrogen Valley,’ centred around the Poolbeg peninsula in Dublin, which will enable green hydrogen production and storage that can be used to decarbonise heavy transport, shipping, industry and power generation.  

Padraig O’Hiceadha, ESB Strategy Manager, Generation and Trading, said: “’Green Hydrogen @ Kinsale’ is another milestone in ESB’s commitment to exploring the significant opportunities in hydrogen production and storage. Mirroring developments across Europe and globally, ESB recognises the role hydrogen will play in enabling a low carbon future. Transforming sites – such as the recently decommissioned gas reservoirs at Kinsale Head – and repurposing reservoirs for green hydrogen can deliver large-scale sustainable energy storage for homes and businesses in the future. We look forward to working with dCarbonX on this exciting renewable project.”

This project follows ESB’s announcement in May that it has plans to invest in a hydrogen facility as part of its redevelopment of the Moneypoint site into a renewable energy hub, ‘Green Atlantic @ Moneypoint.’

Dr John O’Sullivan, COO of dCarbonX, said: “The Kinsale Head reservoirs hosted safe, secure and reliable offshore natural gas subsurface energy storage for many years, underpinning Ireland’s security of gas supply. As subsurface lead for the original natural gas storage development, the dCarbonX and ESB partnership is optimally positioned to repurpose and develop these reservoirs for green hydrogen storage. Kinsale Head is the third Irish offshore location that we are assessing with ESB for green hydrogen storage and we look forward to providing further updates as appropriate.”

The County Cork region is ideally placed to be a renewable energy hub, having one of the largest natural harbours in the world, excellent energy and transport connectivity, modern global manufacturing and service industries together with power stations, refinery and gas reception terminal.


Media Enquiries: Grainne Burns, ESB Press Office, 087-9536640

Notes to Editors

About ESB 

ESB operates across the Irish electricity market; from generation, through transmission and distribution to the supply of customers with an expanding presence in the British power generation market. In addition, ESB extracts further value through supplying gas and energy services, and using its networks to carry fibre for telecommunications. ESB is the owner of the distribution and transmission networks in the Republic of Ireland (managed by ESB Networks) and Northern Ireland (via Northern Ireland Electricity Networks Ltd). In 2020 ESB had a 29 per cent share of generation in the Irish all-island market (via ESB Generation and Trading) and a 34 per cent share of electricity supply in the Irish all-island market (via Electric Ireland) with 1.5 million customer accounts.

About dCarbonX 

dCarbonX Ltd is a pioneering GeoEnergy company established to develop subsurface hydrogen storage, carbon sequestration and geothermal baseload assets to facilitate the energy transition. Based in London and Dublin, dCarbonX Ltd used its proprietary knowledge base to originate and build a portfolio of high-value energy transition assets offshore Ireland & the United Kingdom with a focus on energy storage (hydrogen) and carbon capture and sequestration (CCS).

In May 2021, ESB and dCarbonX agreed to partner on the joint assessment and development of Irish offshore green hydrogen subsurface storage. In July 2021, Pentair and dCarbonX announced a new collaboration to advance their Carbon Capture and Sequestration projects in Ireland and the United Kingdom to help mitigate carbon emissions. 

dCarbonX is strategically and technically supported by Stena Drilling, AGR, Fugro, & CGG and corporately advised by Lambert Energy Advisory.
About the ESB and dCarbonX partnership on green hydrogen storage development 

In May 2021, ESB and dCarbonX agreed to partner on the joint assessment and development of Irish offshore green hydrogen subsurface storage to underpin and support the development of increased renewable penetration, mostly from wind. Under this agreement, ESB and dCarbonX work together on licensing, environmental studies, site selection, project sanctioning, offshore infrastructure development, commissioning and operations in areas that are adjacent to ESB’s existing and planned future infrastructure. In addition to ‘Green Hydrogen @ Kinsale,’ this partnership covers all subsea energy storage offshore in Ireland including the ESB’s ‘Green Atlantic @ Moneypoint’ and the ‘Green Hydrogen Valley’ in Dublin, which will enable green hydrogen production and storage that can be used to accelerate Ireland’s decarbonisation efforts.

About Green Hydrogen 

Green hydrogen is produced by using renewable electricity such as wind to split water into its basic elements of hydrogen and oxygen. Green hydrogen is a carbon-free gas that can be safely stored and used as a replacement fuel for heavy transport, shipping, industry and backup power generation. Decarbonising the electricity network and achieving Ireland’s goal of net-zero carbon by 2050 requires the large-scale development of green hydrogen from renewable sources.