ESB and The Shannon Airport Group have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore the development of a hydrogen lighthouse project in the environment surrounding the airport’s site.
The project aims to explore the development of a sustainable green hydrogen plant at Shannon to demonstrate the use of hydrogen in aviation, heavy goods transport and industry, and as a lighthouse model for the net zero integrated energy system of the future.
Speaking at today’s Hydrogen Ireland Conference in Dublin, The Shannon Airport Group CEO, Mary Considine, said: “Innovation has always been at the heart of our business and this partnership with ESB to explore the potential for a hydrogen testbed in Shannon, aligns with our Sustainability Strategy goal to invest in smart and innovative infrastructure. Decarbonising the transport industry is vital, and hydrogen will likely play a key role in the harder to decarbonise sectors such as heavy goods transport and aviation.
“We are delighted to be working with ESB on this very important initiative and to be an enabler for the development of a hydrogen ecosystem in the Shannon Estuary region.”
This project – one of the first of its kind in Ireland – includes hydrogen refuelling and battery electric vehicle charging in a single location, aligning with the EU’s ambition to have a hydrogen refuelling station every 100 km along both the core and comprehensive Trans-European Transport Network by 2028. It would also offer the potential for use in the testing and development of Sustainable Aviation Fuels and for use in local industry.
Commenting on this latest hydrogen project concept for the group, Jim Dollard, Executive Director, Generation and Trading at ESB, said: “We are proud to collaborate with The Shannon Airport Group on this hydrogen lighthouse project, marking another milestone in our hydrogen exploration plans and commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2040. Collaborations such as this with The Shannon Airport Group are critical as we work together to identify opportunities and solutions for the use of green hydrogen in providing a pathway for the decarbonisation of heavy transport, industry, and aviation.”
The two organisations will now work on concept developments as part of the Lighthouse Project including high-level design, site identification, considerations for safety, the environment and planning, and engagement, locally, with those interested in the development of hydrogen. Lighthouse Projects are projects which demonstrate the use of hydrogen in hard to abate sectors such as heavy goods and long-distance transport, aviation, shipping and power generation. Such work acts as a blueprint for the net zero integrated energy system of the future.
The project will also demonstrate the vast potential of the resource in the Shannon Estuary as part of ESB’s Green Atlantic @ Moneypoint project. A critical part of that plan is to develop a green hydrogen production, storage and generation facility at the Co Clare site towards the end of the decade.
As will be outlined during the Hydrogen Ireland Conference, hydrogen procured from renewable energy is key to the decarbonisation of the Aviation sector – either via Liquid Hydrogen or Sustainable Aviation Fuel.