Mercury Renewables (Carrowleagh) has applied for planning permission for a wind farm and associated hydrogen electrolyser in Ireland with the aim of meeting Ireland’s need to decarbonise heavy transport.
The company applied to construct a 13 turbine wind farm in County Mayo and a hydrogen electrolyser plant in County Sligo. This Strategic Infrastructure Development project was submitted directly to Ireland’s planning authority, An Bord Pleanála, in July 2023.
The planning application notes that in 2023 the Irish Parliament updated its Climate Action Plan and called for “decisive and urgent action”. The new project will contribute to helping Ireland to reduce emissions in hard to abate sectors such as transport. In 2021, the transport sector was the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Ireland, producing 10.89 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2eq) - 17.7% of all greenhouse gas emissions .
The planning application notes there are over 2,215,000 commercial vehicles in Ireland, almost all diesel fuelled, and these produce around 20% of road transport emissions. The road freight industry is considered a hard to decarbonise industry, to which hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles offer a solution.
The wind farm will have an installed capacity of 78MW. The electrolyser will eventually be scaled up to meet demand for green hydrogen in the Irish market to a maximum 80MW capacity, which will produce a maximum of 31,200kg of green hydrogen per day, consuming the full wind farm output. Initially the electrolyser capacity will be 10MW, producing a maximum of 4,000kg of green hydrogen per day.