Mercury Renewables plans €200m wind and hyrdogen plant

Company to supply transport sector from Co Mayo facility

Energy business Mercury Renewables plans to invest €200 million in a combined wind power and hydrogen project that it hopes will begin production by 2025.

Run by chief executive John Duffy, Mercury Renewables has been involved in energy projects in Ireland, Britain, Chile and Egypt.

The company plans to build a wind farm at Firlough, in northeast Co Mayo, that will generate enough power to supply 45,000 homes and a plant that will use electricity to produce hydrogen gas to fuel heavy vehicles.

Mercury calculates that the project will need an investment of €200 million and create 20 full-time jobs when it is completed in early 2025.



Hydrogen is produced by applying an electric charge to water, which separates the gas from oxygen, water’s other component.

Burning it as fuel mainly produces water vapour, so its use dramatically cuts greenhouse gas emissions from transport.

Hydrogen is tipped as a replacement for diesel which now powers most large trucks, buses and other heavy vehicles. The technology is still at an early stage, but the EU has pledged up to €150 billion to back its development over coming decades.

Mercury will use electricity from the wind farm to produce the hydrogen. The 75 megawatt power plant will have enough capacity to supply up to 45,000 homes.

Mr Duffy said on Friday that the company would focus on supplying fuel for transport, and possibly power plants that can use hydrogen to generate electricity when the wind is not blowing.

Mercury estimates that it could produce enough hydrogen to power 1,000 heavy vehicles, which would cut greenhouse gas emissions by about 65,000 tonnes a year. This is 2 per cent of the Republic’s transport emissions target.

“This development will contribute significantly to the area and the wider northwest region, contributing to the supply of Ireland’s energy needs from Irish sources as we approach an already well publicised challenging period for energy supply especially for industry,” Mr Duffy predicted.


Mercury is working with Dublin City University to promote research into the possible use of hydrogen across several disciplines, including engineering and climate sustainability.

Mr Duffy, whose family is from the area, pledged that Mercury would boost Firlough’s value to the region by using locally produced materials and services and establishing an apprenticeship programme.

Mercury has permission to put up 21 turbines at the site, close to Bonniconlon in Co Mayo. However, it will now lodge a new application for 13 turbines and the electrolyser plant that will produce hydrogen.

The company has started talks with local groups and launched its online public consultation forum on Friday.

Once the plant is up and running, Mercury will contribute €500,000 a year to a community fund and local initiatives.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas