A new hydroelectricity project aiming to transform a former mining site into one of Ireland’s leading green energy facilities is edging closer.

Silvermines Hydro is a proposed 360MW hydroelectric power station in Silvermines, Co Tipperary.

The project will store green renewable energy using two water reservoirs at different heights on the mine.

When electricity demand is low at night, excess electricity generated from renewable sources, such as wind power, can pump water from the lower reservoir to the upper reservoir.

The water is held and stored until needed and then released to flow through a turbine to generate electricity during the daytime.

Common interest

The project is officially designated as a European project of common interest (PCI) and was awarded €4.3m in CEF grant support under the European Climate Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (CINEA).

The project is expected to cost €650m and deliver an economic value exceeding €2.6bn over its lifespan.

The project is entering phase four following An Bord Pleanála (ABP) using manual of permit granting process procedures to initiate the PCI permit-granting process.

When built, it will be the largest hydro project to be developed in Ireland.