The ground-breaking Levenmouth Community Energy Project (LCEP) is on track to establish one of Europe’s largest fleets of hydrogen-powered vehicles after the scheme’s lead partner announced the order of 15 eco-friendly vehicles.
Bright Green Hydrogen has invested in 10 Renault HyKangoo vans from Symbio FCell and 5 Ford Transits on behalf of the project and its partners, Fife Council and Toshiba. This is in addition to two refuse collection vehicles (RCV) which were ordered earlier this year by Fife Council as part of a contract award to RCV manufacturer, Heil Farid at Hillend in Fife. Conversion of the Transits and the RCVs will be carried out by Liverpool based ULEMCo.
The Levenmouth project, which secured £4million from the Scottish Government’s Local Energy Fund, aims to position Levenmouth as a global leader in clean energy through developing the Hydrogen Office Project in Methil into a world-class demonstrator of hydrogen applications, generated from renewable sources. This includes creating a fleet of hydrogen dual-fuel vehicles with refuelling points being installed in Methil and at Fife Council’s vehicle depot at Bankhead in Glenrothes.
George Archibald, chief executive at Bright Green Hydrogen which operates the Hydrogen Office Project, said: “This is another key landmark for the project which is continuing to evolve in line with the partners’ ambitions. By providing a substantial range extension using hydrogen, the vehicles will perform a crucial part in generating significant environmental and economic benefits for the region by bringing low-carbon motoring within the reach of business users without limitations on daily travel.”
The electric Kangoo vans would normally have an operational range of around 100 miles. But under the project, this range will be doubled through a supplementary tank of hydrogen being fitted to the vehicles that recharges the battery continually through a fuel cell device.
The Ford Transit vans and the refuse vehicles are powered via a combination of hydrogen and diesel mixed in the engine manifold, with hydrogen stored in supplementary fuel tanks installed underneath the vehicle. The conversion work was developed by Revolve Technologies and is now being commercialised by ULEMCo.
The HyKangoo vans are to be leased by Bright Green Hydrogen. Fife Council’s Transits will be operated by Building Services.
Tom Henderson, service manager for fleet operations at Fife Council, said: “The latest additions to the fleet will contribute to reducing carbon emissions and improving the air quality in Fife.”
The fleet of hydrogen vehicles are due to come into operation by mid-2016 and will become the focus of a major data-collating programme that will enable the cost-benefit of such vehicles to be better understood.
Operational data collected from the Toshiba control system, from the vehicles, and from the hydrogen refuellers will be used to study and optimise the efficiency of the scheme.
Stephen Stead, Business Development Director at Toshiba stated, “It is important that we capitalise on projects such as Levenmouth to pave the way for a cleaner, more environmentally-friendly society for generations to come.”
Levenmouth Community Energy Project is also supported by consortium members: Leven Valley Development Trust; Fife College; BOC (for hydrogen transport); Community Energy Scotland; and the Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (SHFCA).