Ireland's first large-scale renewable gas injection facility is to be built in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork with construction expected to begin next summer.
The announcement of the renewable gas facility comes as Gas Networks Ireland launches a €30m Green Renewable Agricultural Zero Emissions (GRAZE) renewable gas project, which includes the construction of a central grid injection (CGI) facility.
The project is aimed at creating a new co-op style, sustainable farm-based renewable gas industry in the region. The renewable gas injection facility will be the main focus of the project.
When completed, it is expected that the facility will have the capability to inject enough biomethane to meet the requirements of up to 64,000 homes.
Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD, said: “This project shows how we can diversify our gas supplies, by speeding up the roll-out of renewable gases like biomethane. Projects such as this will reduce our reliance on imported fossil fuels, which is especially important now in the context of the war in Ukraine.
“It will contribute to our broader climate goals – of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 51% by 2030 and reaching net zero emissions by 2050," he added.
Cathal Marley, Chief Executive, Gas Networks Ireland said: “Ireland’s national gas network must be repurposed to transport renewable biomethane and hydrogen at scale.
“Investing in biomethane in a large-scale manner has many benefits – both for the energy sector and Irish agriculture.
“It will create significant employment, with up to 6,500 new jobs, mainly in rural Ireland, and provide new income opportunities for local communities from the sale of biomethane, feedstock used to produce the renewable gas and also a highly effective organic bio-fertiliser digestate that is a by-product of the process," he added.
The GRAZE project is led by Gas Networks Ireland and is supported by more than €8.4m in funding from the climate action fund, as part of the Government’s national energy security framework.
Ireland’s first renewable gas injection point began operations in 2019 in Cush, Co Kildare.
Currently, the state does not have hydrogen on its gas network. However, it is believed that blends of up to 20% could be transported on the existing infrastructure today.