A massive trade and distribution centre which has the potential to create over 5,000 jobs has been mooted for a site previously linked with ambitious plans for an international airport in the Tubber area.
Backers describe “Innovation Green” as a new initiative established to create the first 100% independent renewable energy microgrid in Ireland, and in turn, to develop a "low carbon trade and industry campus.”
“It's a trade and distribution centre located adjacent to the airport site. It includes trade and distribution facilities but also research and innovation facilities in conjunction with the Technological University in Munich and InSight Bavaria,” according to Patrick Little, who is from Innovation Green, a Tullamore-based architect.
“In simple terms, this is a park powered by 100% renewable from local sources on an independent grid, so it would be separate to the national grid in conjunction with Siemens,” he added.
The 100% green energy sources powering the entire campus industrial zone will operate as a distributed energy system and include wind, solar, waste to energy, hydrogen and anaerobic digestion, the backers said. It will also function as a “living laboratory” for autonomous cars, smart storage and distribution, artificial intelligence and other technologies.
The hugely ambitious proposals have received a lot of international support so far, Mr Little said, and it is perfectly aligned with the transition from traditional energy to a low carbon economy that the Midlands is currently grappling with.
He called on the government to support the plans.
The centre is being pitched at logistics and freight companies and the food industry. He predicted it could provide 250-400 new jobs in the construction and first phase of operation.
It is not a replacement for the airport plans but is not “wholly dependent” on it either, he said and the full site will be developed over time.
The park would developed in phases and would total over a billion euro investment when fully complete.
“We are looking at €200m-€250 million investment in the initial phase,” he explained.
“Siemens is delighted to support this project by providing technical expertise in the areas of Smart Grid, Campus and Buildings in this exciting project”, says Gary O’Callaghan CEO of Siemens Ireland.
The "Innovation Green" idea, which has been developing together with researchers and industry representatives from Ireland and Germany, is aimed at creating safer, cleaner, smarter development zones and learning lessons that could be applied around the world.