The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) is collaborating with Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) to decarbonise heat and power at Kirkwall Airport through green hydrogen technology.
Funded by the Scottish Government via Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the innovative project will see a novel hydrogen combustion engine, provided by Doosan Babcock, installed and demonstrated at Kirkwall Airport in Orkney in 2021.
This project forms part of a package of initiatives being driven by EMEC and HIAL to decarbonise the airport. A range of opportunities were identified in an energy consumption study delivered by EMEC through the ReFLEX Orkney project. The study found that space and water heating demand in the airport terminal represented the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions after aircraft operations.
Decarbonising airport groundside activities is an important step to enable HIAL to meet the Scottish Government’s target for the Highlands and Islands to be the world’s first net zero aviation region by 2040.
EMEC has contracted Doosan Babcock, based in Renfrew, together with its combined heat and power (CHP) manufacturer 2G, for the provision of the hydrogen combustion technology. 2G’s hydrogen-ready CHP system will be coupled with the airport’s existing heating system to meet the heating and power requirements of the main airport buildings. Due to be deployed for an extended trial period at the airport, the CHP plant will use green hydrogen supplied by EMEC to generate electricity as well as recover and use by-product heat to deliver an efficient and comprehensive energy solution.
This is the first 2G 100% hydrogen CHP system installed in the UK and the first of the Doosan Babcock – 2G partnership, which combines 2G’s product portfolio with Doosan Babcock’s expertise in technology integration.
Energy Minister Mr Wheelhouse said:
“Hydrogen is rapidly emerging as a sustainable solution for the decarbonisation of the economy and a key piece of the energy transition picture.
“This exciting project, the first of its kind in the UK, demonstrates the introduction of hydrogen in novel ways, using innovative equipment from Doosan Babcock’s plant in Renfrewshire to decarbonise the airport at Kirkwall, and has the potential to be replicated by airports across Scotland as we seek to decarbonise the aviation sector in Scotland.
“The Scottish Government is committed to supporting the aspirations of our islands communities to become hubs of energy innovation and climate change leaders, with an emphasis on energy transition, renewable energy and hydrogen production and this project will help inform our options on practical measures on how aviation can help achieve those goals”.
Inglis Lyon, Managing Director at HIAL, said:
“HIAL is committed to making the Highlands and Islands a net zero aviation region by 2040. This pioneering project at Kirkwall Airport is an exciting next step towards decarbonising our operations and enabling greener air services.
“HIAL aims to be a leader by implementing new, innovative technology to provide sustainable transport and carbon neutral travel options. We look forward to working with EMEC and other partners as we move towards a greener future.”
James Walker, Hydrogen Development Manager at EMEC, said:
“Decarbonising heating requires innovative solutions and is a challenge that must be tackled in delivering net zero energy systems, including in aviation. Orkney is now well established as a ‘living laboratory’ where new technologies, and their roles in delivering a future clean energy system, are demonstrated.
“We are very excited to build on our work supporting HIAL to decarbonise Kirkwall Airport and we look forward to collaborating with HIAL and Doosan Babcock as we seek to continue the decarbonisation of Orkney’s energy system piece by piece.”
Andy Colquhoun, CEO at Doosan Babcock, said:
“Doosan Babcock are excited to be working with our partner 2G and EMEC to supply the first 100% green hydrogen supply gas engine CHP plant in the UK. Doosan Babcock provide technology integration solutions to a wide range of industries. This project demonstrates that ‘green’ hydrogen can be generated from renewable power sources, stored and then used to decarbonise heat and power on commercial and industrial sites. This project is just one of Doosan Babcock’s growing portfolio of hydrogen projects and demonstrates our ability to offer our clients new and innovative solutions.”
Mark Holtmann, Managing Director at 2G, said:
“2G are proud innovators of CHP technology installing thousands of CHPs worldwide. We cover a variety of different gas types; however hydrogen is by far the most exciting application to date. Even though there are already 2G CHPs operating on 100% hydrogen around the world, we look forward to a strong and successful partnership with Doosan Babcock to deliver the first 2G 100% hydrogen CHP solution in the UK using our ‘agenitor’ range. We look forward to this project becoming a stepping-stone for many other industries to follow in the UK.
“The future of hydrogen is truly an exciting and revolutionary turning point for the decarbonisation of energy usage.”