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Rhode Green Energy Park

Establishment of Rhode Green Energy Park

Due to the closure of the peat-fired power station in Rhode, Co. Offaly the North Offaly Development Fund (NODF) was established with the objective to benefit the community of Rhode and surrounding area. In particular, NODF is intended to assist enterprise creation and development, with the aim of decreasing unemployment and enhancing the economic and social profile in the area. The company received its funding from ESB Networks.

The development of the Rhode Business Park was originally initiated by NODF for enterprise development for the benefit of the local economy and local community. 

With the significant development of the Rhode business park infrastructure(s) in place and various energy related infrastructure and prospective developments nearby, the potential has been identified for a Green Energy Park at this location to mitigate climate impacts while also furthering Irelands’ sustainability objectives.

The project aims to put Offaly and the Midlands at the centre of a new era of sustainable energy exploitation. Low-carbon energy and material supplies are attractive to companies looking to reduce their carbon footprint. The Rhode Green Energy Park (RGEP) will aim to demonstrate the benefit of a planned approach to energy and industry co-location.  An industrial symbiosis model is being developed, drawn from international best-practice examples.  It has the potential to become a leader in Ireland’s transition from its historical dependency on fossil fuels, especially peat, to sustainable energy and energy innovation. Offaly’s central location provides an ideal base for companies to decarbonise, while serving national and international markets.

Rhode Green Energy Park is a flagship Just Transition project to address employment, enterprise and energy deficits in the midlands following the closure of peat powered generation stations in the region. The Park has 13 serviced sites, and is owned by the community group North Offaly Development Fund CLG. As it has been established on the site of a former ESB power station, there is an opportunity to tap into the National Grid. Adjacent to the park, a cluster of co-locating green energy projects are emerging. Rhode is situated to the East of Co. Offaly, 8 minutes from M6, 38 minutes from M7 and a 45-minute drive to the M50 motorways.

Key Information:

• Area: Circa 5 hectares, serviced sites – Potential for up to 13 business plots.

• Distance from M6: 7.5 km

• Existing Occupants – SSE Peaking Power Plant and consented proposals

• Adjacent Projects, Actual or Approved Planning – wind, solar, hydrogen electrolysers, biomass methanisation, and synchronous condenser and there are plans for a Bord na Mona Energy Park close by at Derrygrennagh, Co. Offaly.

• Adjacent Infrastructure;

– Bord na Mona’s Mount Lucas wind farm and amenity.

– Derryiron Substation (110kV)

– Irish water pumping station, and nearby wastewater treatment plant

Works to date include, the Rhode Opportunity Assessment Report, prepared by RPS with widespread stakeholder engagement, which identified the potential for the following to have potential to be built in Rhode, County Offaly.

Strand 1: Energy decarbonisation/ innovation hub built around renewable energy, hydrogen and electricity system integration.

Strand 2: Eco-Industrial Park model whereby large-scale energy intensive employment – for example data centres, agri-food, horticulture, bio-economy – develops around the electricity and heat resources available.

Strand 3: Educational/ Innovation/ Centre of Learning for renewables and electricity grid: to improve awareness within the community of how the energy transition is happening, for collaboration with stakeholders across the Midlands Region and to create partnerships with Third Level Institutions.

Rhode Opportunity Assessment Report

New report finds Offaly renewable hydrogen hub could cut carbon emissions by 1,173 tonnes annually – October 2023

Strategically located where an abundance of renewable energy generation, the national gas network and the electricity grid meet; Rhode Green Energy Park is earmarked to be one of the first hydrogen demonstration hubs in the country.

This is the main finding from the Rhode Renewable Hydrogen Feasibility Study which was commissioned by North Offaly Development Fund Ltd. and Offaly County Council and funded by the Gas Networks Ireland Gas Innovation Fund, as well as funding contributions from SSE Renewables and Bord na Móna.

Aligned with the objectives of the National Hydrogen Strategy published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change in July 2023, the feasibility study focussed on the potential for using curtailed and constrained wind power – excess wind energy – to produce renewable hydrogen through electrolysis.

It is estimated that this proposed one megawatt demonstrator-scale electrolyser will produce 150 tonnes of hydrogen per annum, which is equivalent to 98 MWh of natural gas. One of the recommendations from the study, which was led by RPS with support from University of Galway and University College Dublin, is to inject approximately half of the hydrogen produced into the gas network, while the remainder be used for fueling ‘dual fuel’ (hydrogen / diesel) vehicles. Combined, this will offset an estimated annual CO2 emissions saving of 1,173 tonnes every year1.

Additional information is provided in the attached press release here:

This 1MW demonstrator-scale electrolyser has relevance to other locations around Ireland and is envisaged as a project that can be replicated elsewhere and expanded modularly.

The study, commissioned by the North Offaly Development Fund, focusses on the potential for capturing curtailed / constrained wind power for powering an electrolyser to produce renewable hydrogen.  Options for how this renewable hydrogen could be used locally are explored including injection to the gas grid, electricity generation, district heating and use in transportation fleets.  The study concludes that the project has real potential to be developed at Rhode Green Energy Park where there is a convergence of electricity grid, renewables and gas infrastructure. Furthermore, the Park is strategically located in the Irish Midlands, close to the M6 Motorway

Rhode Renewable Hydrogen Feasibility Study Final Report

Project Partners: Representatives from Offaly County Council, North Offaly Development Fund, RPS, Bord na Móna, University of Galway, SSE and Gas Networks Ireland (GNI).
Wider Group: Representatives from Offaly County Council, North Offaly Development Fund, RPS, Bord na Móna, University of Galway, SSE, IDA, Dept. of Environment, Climate and Communications, Gas Networks Ireland Ltd.

Implementation Framework for the Rhode Green Energy Park

The North Offaly Development Fund CLG has engaged a suitable supplier to develop an Implementation Framework on how to facilitate an integrated eco-industrial park for Rhode Green Energy Park.

This Framework will deliver tangible next steps that need to be taken at Rhode to maintain momentum and ensure that the enterprise and employment objectives of the Rhode Green Energy Park comes to fruition.  The Implementation Framework will address:

  • Mapping of how best to locate projects within the park to assist integration, downstream activities, further development and expansion beyond the park etc.
  • A best practice model for management of the park, drawing on international examples, in order to realise the industrial symbiosis model.
  • A code of practice for promoters in the park – creating the conditions for effective sharing of energy, resources, residues and enabling lean and circular business partnerships.
  • Process to facilitate collaboration between promoters on the delivery of services to businesses in the park.
  • Integration of the outcomes of the Feasibility Studies (Green Hydrogen Study and Data Centre integration with Green Energy and Renewables Study).
  • Methodology to evaluate site purchase requests ensuring (a) the appropriate mix of businesses in the park and (b) appropriately scaled projects for the park.

The project is expected to be completed by Q2 2024 and will ignite economic development centered on the energy transition.


To discuss setting up a green energy/technology business in Offaly, please contact Local Enterprise Offaly on info@leo.offalycoco.ie

For full details of our services, please click on the link to our dedicated website www.localenterprise.ie/offaly