Black & Veatch aids Mercury Renewables “first-of-a-kind” green hydrogen plant
By Becky Schultz24 June 2022
To develop its “first-of-a-kind” green hydrogen generation plant, Mercury Renewables will draw on the hydrogen and renewable energy expertise of global engineering, consulting and construction firm Black & Veatch. The facility, to be known as Firlough, located on the border of Mayo and Sligo Counties in Ireland, will become one of the country’s first co-located onshore wind farm and hydrogen electrolysis plants. A 75-MW wind farm will be used to power the electrolyzer plant to produce “green hydrogen,” or hydrogen generated by renewable energy or low-carbon power.
“The abundance of renewable energy potential in Ireland means green hydrogen should play a significant role in regional and national cross-sector decarbonization. Projects like Firlough put Mercury at the vanguard of delivering Ireland’s hydrogen economy,” said Tim Bills-Everett of Mercury. “Our business model is to combine local knowledge with international best practice in renewable energy development. For Firlough, we also need proven hydrogen expertise. With a deep track record in both, Black & Veatch is our partner of choice.”
Black & Veatch is a member of the Hydrogen Council and was appointed advisor to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee. Its most recent hydrogen experience includes selection by Mitsubishi Power Americas and Magnum Development to provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for the Advanced Clean Energy Storage project in Delta, Utah.
Black & Veatch’s initial role on the Firlough project has been the feasibility studies that inform the various aspects of hydrogen development. This includes helping Mercury understand which combination and size of electrolyzer technology, hydrogen storage and transport options, and water supply alternatives would best meet the project’s business goals, using multiple scenario studies and conceptual site layouts.
“Hydrogen project developers and investors need confidence in the quality of the advice they receive,” said Youssef Merjaneh, Black & Veatch’s senior vice president, managing director, Europe, Middle East & Africa. “The most complete analysis will come from partners with expertise in hydrogen, renewable energy generation and the complex interfaces between them that define projects like Firlough.”
Mercury Renewables has been developing renewable energy projects in Ireland since 2009. At Firlough, as with other projects, it intends to work toward localized economic growth, using local people, equipment and services, where possible.
Once the optimal configuration for the project is identified, Black & Veatch role will include developing an outline design for the facility that takes into account the local surroundings, supporting engagement with the local community and working to ensure the plant’s safe operation.