Bord Gáis Energy, a subsidiary of Centrica, has entered a pivotal partnership with ESB (Electricity Supply Board) and dCarbonX in the Kestrel Project, an ambitious venture focused on redeveloping the decommissioned gas reservoirs at the Kinsale Head gas field. The primary objective of this project is to establish large-scale green hydrogen energy storage, initially utilizing natural gas and subsequently transitioning to green hydrogen.
Ireland's National Hydrogen Strategy, recently unveiled, underscores the importance of long-duration storage for the future cost competitiveness and price resilience of hydrogen. It emphasizes the need for geological storage solutions to support these objectives.
Since early 2021, ESB and dCarbonX, an associate company of the gas infrastructure operator Snam, have been collaborating to assess and develop offshore green hydrogen subsurface storage opportunities in Ireland. Both ESB and Bord Gáis Energy operate significant electrical generation capacity at their onshore Aghada and Whitegate gas-fired power stations in Cork. The incorporation of large-scale storage is expected to facilitate the transition of these power stations toward achieving net zero emissions in the future.
Under the terms of the agreement, Bord Gáis Energy will join ESB and dCarbonX on an equal basis in advancing the Kestrel Project.
Dave Kirwan, Managing Director of Bord Gáis Energy, emphasized the critical role of decarbonizing Ireland's energy system while ensuring security of supply, particularly in the context of the country's growing economy. He stated, “As we help to deliver the green transition, there will be an ever-increasing role for gas and ultimately green hydrogen, and we are delighted to partner with ESB and dCarbonX to deliver the infrastructure for a greener future.”
Jim Dollard, Executive Director of Generation and Trading at ESB, recognized the significance of large-scale energy storage and the role green hydrogen will play in enabling a net-zero future. He welcomed Bord Gáis Energy's involvement in the Kestrel Project, noting its vital contribution to helping Ireland meet its climate objectives and enhancing energy security.
Tony O'Reilly, Chief Executive of dCarbonX, emphasized the seamless fit of Bord Gáis Energy into the Kestrel Project due to their extensive experience and exceptional track record in the Cork Harbour region. He also highlighted the capabilities of Bord Gáis Energy's parent company, Centrica, a leading international energy player, and its operation of the UK's largest gas storage facility at the offshore Rough field, which is under assessment for future hydrogen storage potential.
This collaboration, combining the strengths of Bord Gáis Energy, ESB, and Snam, signifies a significant strategic capability geared toward delivering large-scale energy storage that benefits Ireland's sustainable energy future.