A trailblazing hydrogen storage project near Glasgow has been backed by nearly £10 million in UK government funding – helping create high-skilled jobs and drive progress towards decarbonising the UK transport sector.
Putting Scotland at the forefront of the UK’s clean energy transition and supporting the city’s ambition to become net zero by 2030, the £9.4 million cash boost will see the Whitelee green hydrogen project 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 state-of-the-art facility will be able to produce enough green hydrogen per day – 2.5 to 4 tonnes – that, once stored, could provide the equivalent of enough zero-carbon fuel for 225 buses travelling to and from Glasgow and Edinburgh each day.
Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Hands said “This first-of-a-kind hydrogen facility will put Scotland at the forefront of plans to make the UK a world-leading hydrogen economy, bringing green jobs to Glasgow, while also helping to decarbonise local transport – all immediately following the historic COP26 talks.
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.”
The announcement follows COP26, the global climate change summit held in Glasgow, and supports the city’s ambition to become net zero by 2030. 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.
Building on the government’s plans to make the UK a world-leading hydrogen economy and ensure the sector has the skilled workforce it needs, an additional £2.25 million in new government funding will support the development of hydrogen skills and standards in the UK.
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.
The Whitelee project will propel the UK’s Green Industrial Revolution and create high-skilled jobs in Glasgow and at ITM Power’s location in Sheffield supporting green growth. It will also create opportunities across the country in the near term and set the groundwork for longer-term economic growth, with the expansion of hydrogen businesses across the UK underpinning high-quality green jobs, putting the UK at the forefront of this new international market.
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