ESB Energy and dCarbonX have signed a joint venture agreement aiming to integrate large-scale energy storage projects off the coast of Ireland which could include green hydrogen utilisation.

Having previously worked together to explore the feasibility in integrating offshore green hydrogen subsurface storage to support the growing renewable sector in Ireland, the two companies will now expand its collaboration for further projects.

The joint venture will focus on three specific green hydrogen storage opportunities based around proposed decarbonisation clusters. These are 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.

This particular project envisages the redevelopment of the decommissioned gas reservoirs at the Kinsale Head field, ultimately, for green hydrogen storage.

“Mirroring the developments across Europe, ESB recognises the importance of large-scale energy storage and the role that green hydrogen will play in enabling a net zero future,” said Jim Dollard, executive director, Generation and Trading at ESB.

“This joint venture agreement provides an expanded platform to deliver key strategic integrated assets that can that help Ireland to meet its climate objectives, whilst also supporting energy security. We are delighted to be partnering with dCarbonX and Snam on these projects.”

The joint venture with dCarbonX contributes to ESB’s aim in becoming the UK’s “next big green” supplier. It previously took a 75% stake in challenger energy supplier So Energy last year, merging the two businesses under the latter’s brand.

In doing so, ESB Energy’s domestic customers were added to So Energy’s existing portfolio, taking the supplier to over 300,000 domestic customers and growing its customer base by 35%.

In the UK, the hydrogen market continues to ramp up its project pipeline in light of increased targets laid out by the government. In July, ScottishPower’s parent company Iberdrola and oil and gas giant bp announced a new strategic partnership to develop green hydrogen.

The companies will look to develop large-scale production of green hydrogen with a target of up to 600ktpa production capacity, integrated with new renewable power, across UK, Spain and Portugal.

Derivatives such as green ammonia and methanol could be exported to Northern Europe following the developing of the green hydrogen capacity.

ESB’s venture with dCarbonX will capitalise on the renewable potential of Ireland via its offshore and onshore wind capacity and turn it into green hydrogen to complement the intermittent generation sources.

“The signing of this joint venture agreement with ESB is another crucial step in the development of large-scale energy storage solutions for Ireland,” said Tony O’Reilly, CEO of dCarbonX.

“Working with the backing of our shareholder Snam, dCarbonX has already begun the assessment of suitable offshore reservoirs that can support the storage of hydrogen and hydrogen carriers. We look forward to progressing these opportunities with ESB.”

Cornwall Insight recently detailed that Irish energy customers could receive €89.10 (£76.53) as part of renewable energy generators payback money. This would come to fruition via the Public Service Obligation (PSO) levy that is applied to electricity consumers to cover the costs of renewable support schemes introduced by the government.