Gas Networks Ireland has confirmed that a project to inject large volumes of renewable gas onto the natural gas network, has been shortlisted for €8 million of funding under The Climate Action Fund.
The GRAZE Gas project will be a major step in achieving Gas Networks Ireland's target to deliver 20% of Ireland's gas supply by 2030 and 50% by 2050.
The total value of the project is just under €29m and is part of a larger investment by Gas Networks Ireland in renewable gas.
This announcement confirms the Government's support for Gas Networks Ireland's long-term vision for how the gas network can play a key role in decarbonising Ireland's energy, transport and agriculture sectors.
The GRAZE Gas project will be located in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork. It will involve the development of a Central Grid Injection (CGI) facility, through which renewable gas will enter the grid. The facility will enable the development of on-farm anaerobic digestion (AD) plants, which will supply the CGI plant. This model will be similar to that used by dairy co-ops, gas will be transported by road, in special tankers, to the CGI facility.
It is intended that the Mitchelstown facility will be the first of 17 transmission connected facilities, delivering renewable gas into the natural gas network.
Gas Networks Ireland managing director, Denis O'Sullivan: "Ireland's gas network is a €2.6bn asset, owned by the Irish State. It is an asset which has a critical role to play in Ireland's energy future and in the journey to decarbonisation that we are on. Gas Networks Ireland is helping to deliver a cleaner energy supply through innovation in key areas such as renewable gas. Combining the strength of our existing network, with a commitment to innovation will deliver the most cost effective and secure solution to our energy challenges, allowing our economy to prosper into the future. This announcement is another important step forward in our renewable gas strategy."
Ireland has the highest potential for biogas production per capita within the EU by 2030 European Commission. The first renewable gas will come on to the Irish gas network at the end of this year, from a facility in Cush, Co. Kildare. It is estimated that the development of full renewable gas network will support the creation of 6,500 jobs, mainly in rural communities. The development of an indigenous, reliable energy source will also significantly enhance energy security and reduce our use of imported fuel.
In addition to the development of the CGI facility and associated logistics vehicles, the GRAZE project will fund the development of two Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations. These CNG stations will be part of a network of over 70 stations being developed by Gas Networks Ireland, which will allow HGV and bus operators to switch from diesel to renewable gas. Switching these large vehicles can help to substantially reduce Ireland's transport emissions, with a 99% reduction in particulate matter when compared to diesel.
The GRAZE Gas project is being funded under the first phase of the Climate Action Fund, administered by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment. The project will be implemented between 2019 and 2022.