A pioneering Strategic partnership has been established to create new green hydrogen production facilities with clusters of refuelling stations across Scotland, supporting the country’s efforts to achieve net zero by 2045.
‘Green Hydrogen for Scotland’ – a partnership of ScottishPower Renewables, BOC (a Linde company) and ITM Power – brings together industry-leading names in the renewables and clean fuel industries to offer an end-to-end market solution for reducing vehicle emissions through the provision of green hydrogen.
The partnership’s first project, ‘Green Hydrogen for Glasgow’, is designed to provide carbon-free transport and clean air for communities across the city, which wants to become the first net-zero city in the UK.
A proposed green hydrogen production facility located on the outskirts of the city will be operated by BOC, using wind and solar power produced by ScottishPower Renewables to operate a 10MW electrolyser, delivered by ITM Power. The project aims to supply hydrogen to the commercial market within the next two years.
This project also supports the Scottish Government’s decarbonisation targets and Glasgow City Council’s commitment to creating a zero emissions vehicle fleet, using only electric and hydrogen powered vehicles by the end of 2029.
Hydrogen fuel – which is particularly suitable for larger vehicles – is produced through a chemical process known as electrolysis, using an electrolyser to extract hydrogen from water. Powering the electrolyser from renewable sources like wind and solar power means the process is completed without any carbon emissions – making the hydrogen ‘green’.
The new facilities planned by ‘Green Hydrogen for Scotland’ will ensure the zero emission fuel is readily available to organisations such as local authorities and others with fleets of heavy duty vehicles.
Lindsay McQuade, CEO of ScottishPower Renewables said: “Making transport cleaner and greener is one of the key issues at the heart of how we can unlock net zero and achieve the ambitious climate change targets set out at both regional and national levels over the next 10-30 years.
“While electrification will play a significant role in taking petrol and diesel vehicles off our roads and make an important difference for the planet, it can only go so far, and we’re doing something about that. Our revolutionary approach – which really will be a game-changer – fully supports the large scale transformation needed to replace heavy diesel vehicles with cleaner, greener alternatives.
“By working with industry leaders ITM Power and BOC to bring our collective expertise together, we will maximise the potential of this new technology to offer fleet operators and industry a packaged solution that brings all of the pieces of the jigsaw together – production, distribution, supply. All they have to do is provide the vehicles. We have a huge opportunity here to bring net zero ever closer for the benefit of everyone and support a better future, quicker – and we will make it happen.”
Mark Griffin, Market Development Manager for Clean Fuels at BOC said: “Forward-thinking councils are putting green hydrogen at the centre of their transport strategies to help achieve their net-zero targets. We already operate Europe’s largest hydrogen production and refuelling site in Aberdeen and are looking forward to working with councils across Scotland to develop more projects in partnership with SPR and ITM Power.”
Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM Power, commented: “This project provides the opportunity to fulfil Scotland’s rich potential for the simultaneous decarbonisation of power and transport fuel. ITM Power is proud to be participating in this project with our strategic partners. The project and the 10MW electrolyser is subject to an MoU at this stage and ITM Power will make a further announcement regarding the final details of deployment.
“Green Hydrogen for Glasgow is an important step forward for the city’s net zero targets and enables Scotland to demonstrate that its most densely populated urban areas can fully utilise its abundant local renewable energy resources to decarbonise its transport system and industry.“
Hydrogen as a fuel – summary
Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. It is produced in a number of ways, which vary in efficiency, carbon intensity and cost. Production methods include steam methane reformation (SMR), as well as being a by-product from the chemicals industry.
It is also possible to produce green hydrogen from electrolysis using renewable energy. This process extracts hydrogen from water with no emissions and is currently the only way to produce zero-carbon hydrogen.
Hydrogen is stored as a compressed gas at the refuelling station until its needed, when it is pumped into the vehicle under pressure. One of the key benefits of hydrogen is that refuelling is a fast and familiar process, which is similar to refuelling a diesel vehicle. It takes around 10 minutes to refuel a bus, which can cover a range of around 350km, and 5 minutes for a car enabling a range of 500km.
There are zero emissions from the fuel-cell vehicle – just clean water from the tail pipe – and they are virtually noiseless.
Hydrogen is a particularly suitable fuel for larger vehicles, such as buses and trucks. It offers a much better vehicle power-to-weight ratio than batteries, which makes it possible to travel long distances without significantly increasing vehicle weight.
Refuelling station infrastructure
There are four key components of a hydrogen refuelling infrastructure. The first key component is the hydrogen supply, which can either be delivered to site from an offsite production plant or produced onsite. To produce hydrogen on-site, an electrolyser is required to extract hydrogen from water. Power to operate the electrolyser can be sourced directly from a renewable energy project, to produce ‘green’ hydrogen.
A compressor unit takes the extracted hydrogen and compresses it for efficient storage. The station also requires a hydrogen store, which is capable of storing hydrogen under pressure, and a dispenser for pumping the hydrogen gas to the vehicle under pressure.
To calculate the target pressure for the vehicle being refuelled, the station measures the ambient and hydrogen temperature and uses a test pulse to measure the initial vehicle pressure. The refuelling process starts with the equalisation of the low-pressure bank, followed by the equalisation of the medium-pressure and high-pressure bank. The station performs continuous leak monitoring during the refuelling process.
After refuelling, the station automatically switches to recharge mode and fills the storage banks.
About ITM Power plc:
ITM Power plc manufactures integrated hydrogen energy solutions for grid balancing, energy storage and the production of renewable hydrogen for transport, renewable heat and chemicals. ITM Power plc was admitted to the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange in 2004. In October 2019, the Company announced the completion of a £58.8 million fundraise, including a subscription by Linde of £38 million, together with the formation of a joint-venture with Linde to focus on delivering renewable hydrogen to large scale industrial projects worldwide. ITM Power signed a forecourt siting agreement with Shell for hydrogen refuelling stations in September 2015, (which was extended in May 2019 to include buses, trucks, trains and ships) and in January 2018 a deal to deploy a 10MW electrolyser at Shell’s Rhineland refinery. ITM Power announced the lease of the world’s largest electrolyser factory in Sheffield with a capacity of 1GW (1,000MW) per annum in July 2019. Customers and partners include Sumitomo, Ørsted, Phillips 66, National Grid, Cadent, Northern Gas Networks, Gasunie, RWE, Engie, BOC Linde, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai and Anglo American among others.
About ScottishPower Renewables
ScottishPower Renewables is part of Iberdrola, a world leader in clean energy with an installed capacity of over 28,000MW, and the leading wind energy producer worldwide.
Responsible for progressing Iberdrola’s wind energy projects in the UK, ScottishPower Renewables also manages the development, construction and operation of offshore windfarms throughout the world and currently has 40 operational windfarm sites producing over 2,000MW.
BOC, a Linde company, is leading the UK and Ireland’s drive to enable commercial and private hydrogen transport supported by a UK-wide refuelling network. Its clean fuels team designs, builds and operates proven, reliable and scalable refuelling station solutions that offer fast and familiar refuelling, using hydrogen. It supports local councils and transport operators who are aiming to take immediate action on air pollution and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
BOC is a trusted partner with over 25-years’ experience progressing hydrogen as a fuel. It has worked on a range of infrastructure projects including the UK’s first open access hydrogen refuelling station in Swindon and Europe’s largest and highest performing refuelling station at Kittybrewster, Aberdeen. It has also delivered ground-breaking ventures internationally, including the roll-out of hydrogenfuelled trains in Germany with project partners, Alstom.
Find out more about BOC’s role in the Glasgow hydrogen refuelling station. For more information about the company and its products and services, please visit www.boconline.co.uk