The UK government has chosen two green hydrogen projects being built by SSE to go to the last phase of its Net Zero Hydrogen Fund.
The fund’s goal is to support the creation and use of innovative low-carbon hydrogen production in order to lower investment risk and overall costs.
The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has confirmed that it would commence negotiations with SSE to provide support for its Gordonbush Hydrogen and Aldbrough Hydrogen Pathfinder projects after conducting its due diligence.
The Pathfinder project, which is being built at SSE Thermal’s current gas storage facility in East Yorkshire, intends to show how power generation and storage of renewable hydrogen interact.
The facility, which might be operational by the middle of the decade, will be crucial in demonstrating the role that flexible hydrogen power can play in the UK’s transition to net zero energy.
Gordonbush Hydrogen intends to use the 100 MW-plus Gordonbush onshore wind farm in Sutherland, which is owned by SSE Renewables, to manufacture and deliver green hydrogen through electrolysis.
With the potential to optimise output, unlocking future growth as well as enabling the decarbonisation of other industries, the project would show the benefit in co-locating green hydrogen production at current renewable energy plants.
Catherine Raw, Managing director of SSE Thermal and group executive committee lead for hydrogen, said “Hydrogen will be crucial in getting the UK to net zero, as well as significantly boosting our energy security by maximising our ability to harness homegrown renewables.”
“At SSE, we are developing projects across the hydrogen value chain, from production to storage to power generation. For a thriving hydrogen economy to be developed, we need to see projects brought forward at pace and the Net Zero Hydrogen Fund aims to achieve exactly that.”
“We welcome the recognition from UK government on the potential of both Aldbrough Hydrogen Pathfinder and Gordonbush Hydrogen and look forward to the continued development of these important low-carbon projects.”
When the supply is ample, Pathfinder would use green power obtained from the grid through Renewable PPAs in accordance with the Low Carbon Hydrogen Standard.
A 100% hydrogen-fired open-cycle gas turbine would then be used to generate flexible green electricity that could be exported back to the grid when the system required it. Hydrogen would then be created using a 35MW electrolyser and stored in a converted salt cavern.
Subject to receiving planning approvals and making a final investment decision later this year, SSE hopes to create hydrogen and begin filling the cavern by 2025.
Before submitting a planning request to the Highland Council, Gordonbush Hydrogen is currently undergoing revisions.
If built, it might use an electrolyser to produce up to 1300 tonnes of green hydrogen annually.
The fuel might then be utilised as a clean substitute for petrol, diesel, or natural gas to assist in decarbonising difficult-to-abate sectors like manufacturing, transportation, and industry.
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