The new agreement builds upon a previous collaboration signed in 2022. Image: Jem Sanchez (Pexels).

Geoenergy company dCarbonX has signed an agreement with Irish-based utility ESB to expand its collaboration to evaluate and progress onshore large-scale subsurface hydrogen energy storage opportunities in the UK.

Formalised via the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU), the two companies will explore subsurface hydrogen energy storage in the UK – a solution that could provide a boost to intermittent renewable generation and bolster the hydrogen market.

The MoU builds upon a previous collaboration between the two companies to develop large-scale energy storage projects offshore in Ireland to complement ESB’s vast offshore wind generation portfolio which consists of 2GW.

The joint venture focused on three specific green hydrogen storage opportunities based around proposed decarbonisation clusters. These were situated east of Dublin’s Poolbeg, west of ESB’s Green Atlantic at Moneypoint project and south of Aghada in Cork, also known as Project Kestrel.

The latest agreement will capitalise on ESB’s expanding portfolio of onshore wind farms in the UK with the portfolio having a generation capacity of around 1.5GW.

“ESB has operated in the UK for more than 25 years as a leading independent generator with current developments in onshore and offshore wind projects,” said Jim Dollard, ESB executive director, Generation and Trading.

“This agreement with our valued partner, dCarbonX, cements our commitment to exploring and investing in renewable solutions that will help the UK achieve its climate targets.”

Subsurface hydrogen storage presents an opportunity to scale the UK and Irish hydrogen industries whilst supporting the decarbonisation of the energy sectors. dCarbonX deploys its “GeoEnergy Decarbonisation” process to capture the energy and transform it into hydrogen for storage. These require minimal space and can be used as a large-scale energy storage solution.

“We are delighted to expand our relationship with ESB into the UK which will allow us to leverage key learnings from our Irish projects in areas such as technology, business modelling & operations. We see significant large scale energy storage opportunities in the UK given its mature energy industry and favourable geology together with recent hydrogen policy developments,” said Tony O’Reilly, CEO of dCarbonX.

“In addition, the success of the Crown Estate/ScotWind offshore wind auctions together with the development of net zero industrial clusters such as HyNet, should further spur the production and storage of green hydrogen.”

Solar Power Portal’s publisher Solar Media will host the Green Hydrogen Summit on 18-19 April 2023 in Lisbon. The event will explore green hydrogen role in shipping, its production, supply chains, financing and renewable hydrogen derivatives and their applications. For more information, go to the website.