The UK government has backed the deployment of a 20MW green hydrogen electrolyser at the country’s largest onshore wind farm in a “first-of-a-kind” integration.
The Green Hydrogen for Scotland partnership – made up of Iberdrola subsidiary ScottishPower, British gas company BOC, and UK-based energy storage company ITM Power – will build a 20MW hydrogen production and storage facility at ScottishPower’s 539MW Whitelee wind farm.
The Whitelee wind farm is also set to add a 40MW solar farm and a 50MW/50MWh battery storage project.
The “first-of-a-kind” project is backed by £9.4 million of funding through the Storage at Scale competition run by the department of business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS).
It will build a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyser, the first stage of which will include the deployment of a 10MW electrolyser and an associated four tonnes of storage.
The electrolyser would be powered by electricity generated from the neighbouring Whitelee wind farm, resulting in “green” hydrogen. Hydrogen produced at the Whitelee facility will be used to provide zero-carbon fuel for heavy transport and high-temperature industrial processes.
“Green hydrogen production at Whitelee is our flagship project, demonstrating how clean, zero-emission hydrogen can be produced and used at a commercial scale,” said Barry Carruthers, ScottishPower’s hydrogen director.
“Glasgow has ambitions to be the first city in the UK to achieve Net Zero by 2030 and green hydrogen being available by 2023 to support heavy industries and fleets to decarbonise in and around the city will be critical to this goal being achieved.”
According to ScottishPower, the amount of green hydrogen produced from the facility upon completion would provide the equivalent hydrogen needed to power up to 550 hydrogen buses travelling the 67-kilometre journey from Glasgow to Edinburgh and back again each day.
“Projects like these will be vital as we shift to a green electricity grid, helping us get the full benefit from our world-class renewables, supporting the UK as we work to eliminate the UK’s contribution to climate change,” said Greg Hands, the UK energy and climate change minister.
Joshua S. Hill is a Melbourne-based journalist who has been writing about climate change, clean technology, and electric vehicles for over 15 years. He has been reporting on electric vehicles and clean technologies for Renew Economy and The Driven since 2012. His preferred mode of transport is his feet.