Where is Silvermines Hydro?

Europe – Ireland – Tipperary

Silvermines Hydro is located 10km south of Nenagh town and 1k west of Silvermines village, County Tipperary.

Where is Silvermines Hydro?

What is the Silvermines Hydro Project?

Silvermines Hydro is a hydroelectric pumped storage power project that will repurpose and transform a former historic mine site into one of Ireland’s leading green energy facilities. Silvermines Hydro will become the second pumped storage power station built in Ireland, since the commissioning of Turlough Hill by the ESB in County Wicklow in 1974.

Pumped storage power stations generate power from stored water. Two water reservoirs at different elevations generate power as water moves down from one to the other, passing through a turbine. The system also requires power as it pumps water back into the upper reservoir. At Silvermines Hydro this will involve creating a new reservoir near the summit of the hill and using the existing former mine pit lake at the foot of the hill. Pumped storage power can be stored and then released when it is needed. Electricity produced from the power station will be transmitted by underground cable and connected to the power grid.

Pumped hydro technology is known worldwide as a dependable and proven way to store energy and generate electricity.

What is the Silvermines Hydro Project?

Why do we need projects like Silvermines Hydro?

Europe has a vision of becoming the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. To reach this target Ireland and Europe must effectively integrate more renewable power onto the grid, while creating new energy storage.

Under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021, Ireland has committed to reducing CO2 emissions by 51% and to transitioning the country to becoming a climate neutral economy. This requires the addition of not only renewable energy, but of on-demand storage facilities to ensure that homes and industry have the energy they need when they need it.

The Irish government is committed to ensuring that major infrastructure PCI projects, including Silvermines Hydro are implemented. The Climate Action Plan (CAP) 2024 states:

"To ensure priority EU electricity infrastructure projects, Projects of Common Interest (PCI) will continue to receive prioritisation as provided by the EU TEN-E Regulation, addressing any administrative, market, or regulatory obstacles obstructing the implementation of PCIs to ensure their scheduled execution."

Silvermines Hydro will contribute to Ireland meeting its climate targets, while helping to secure Ireland’s future energy supply.


Green energy - yours & mine


Benefits of Silvermines Hydro

Silvermines Hydro is a national investment that will contribute to Ireland’s security of energy supply.

Additional benefits include:

  • Being part of the solution to meet decarbonisation targets in Ireland and the EU.

  • Improving the stability of the Irish power system.

  • Supporting the economics of renewable energy production.

  • Helping to reduce CO2 emissions.

  • Enhancing economic competitiveness and lowering electricity costs for consumers.

  • Provision of new infrastructure investment in the Mid-West region of Ireland.

  • Creation of employment opportunities.

Several actions must be completed in the pre planning stage before submitting a planning application. These include (but are not limited to) geological surveys, habitat surveys, hydrogeological investigations, environmental evaluations and engineering design as well as an active public participation programme to help shape the project before it enters the formal planning assessment process.

Benefits of Silvermines Hydro

What is a PCI project?

Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) are essential infrastructure projects, designated by the European Commission, that aim to strengthen the European energy market and help the EU achieve its energy and climate goals.

PCIs focus on providing affordable, secure, and sustainable energy for everyone and help to promote decarbonisation within the energy sector.

Silvermines Hydro has been awarded €4.3million in in the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) grant support from the European Climate Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (CINEA).

The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is the funding mechanism for strategic investments in transport, energy and digital infrastructure to promote growth, jobs and competitiveness in the EU and contributes to delivering the European Green Deal.


Taking steps towards a sustainable future


Project status

The project is currently in the preplanning and permitting stage.

Activities undertaken to date include:

  • Project included in EU 6th PCI List & ENTSO-E TYNDP 2024-2034.

  • Opened Public Project Office in Nenagh.

  • Appointed Community and Heritage leads.

  • Commenced Stakeholder Engagement.

  • Full Design, Engineering & Environmental consenting teams appointed.

  • Environmental baseline data gathering and surveying has commenced, including ecology, water, air quality, noise, traffic, geology and archaeology.

  • Technical studies and engineering design studies in progress for hydro design and grid connection.

  • PCI compliance & reporting to EU, Member State and CINEA (CEF grant funding).

  • Project scheduling, risk register & PCI implementation plans.

  • Preparation for Stakeholder Engagement Plans - Public Participation Concept.

  • Ongoing Engagement with Eirgrid (TSO), Member State (DECC), Regulatory Authority (CRU), Local Authority (Tipp Co Co), EU Commission, local community, environmental groups and other stakeholders.