Hydrogen storage project gains government funding


A hydrogen storage project near Glasgow has been backed by £9.4 million in UK government funding.

The Whitelee green hydrogen project will develop the UK’s largest electrolyser, a system which converts water into hydrogen gas as a way to store energy. It will be located alongside ScottishPower’s Whitelee Windfarm, the largest of its kind in the UK, and will produce and store hydrogen to supply local transport providers with zero-carbon fuel.

Developed by ITM Power and BOC, in conjunction with ScottishPower’s Hydrogen division, the  facility will be able to produce enough green hydrogen per day – 2.5 to 4 tonnes.

The Whitelee project will be the UK’s largest power-to hydrogen energy storage project, using an electrolyser powered by the renewable energy from the Whitelee Windfarm. This will create green hydrogen, a zero-carbon gas that is produced via electrolysis (splitting) of water, using renewable power.

This funding, under the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, will see the British Standards Institution (BSI) develop technical standards for hydrogen products, and a consortium comprising Energy and Utility Skills and the Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers, will establish new standards and training specifications to facilitate the training of hydrogen gas installers.

As part of the UK government’s plans to decarbonise the UK’s power system by 2035, it is accelerating the transition to clean, renewable energy - however, the unpredictable nature of renewables like wind power means that energy can be produced when it is not needed by the grid. Hydrogen has the ability to store energy for long periods of time and in large quantities making it a vital part of the green energy future, as it provides the opportunity to convert excess renewable energy into a fuel for use across the economy. This means hydrogen storage will play key role in the shift towards a fully decarbonised energy system, which is crucial to the UK reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The Whitelee hydrogen project is funded through the BEIS Energy Innovation Portfolio. The funding recipients are ITM Power and BOC.

ITM Power will develop and manufacture the electrolyser in Sheffield, while industrial gas company BOC will handle the project’s engineering and operations. They will work in conjunction with ScottishPower Hydrogen to integrate the electrolyser with ScottishPower’s Whitelee Windfarm near Glasgow. With 215 turbines and 539MW capacity, it is the UK’s largest onshore windfarm.
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