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UK: Winlaton Pioneering Hydrogen Energy Pilot

By January 3, 2021 3   min read  (462 words)

January 3, 2021 |

Gas customers in Winlaton become the first on public UK gas network to use blended hydrogen for heating and cooking.

Towards the end of the first quarter of 2021, 670 homes and businesses will take part in the next stage of HyDeploy, a pioneering energy pilot. Customers will receive gas blended with 20% zero-carbon hydrogen in a demonstration lasting 10 months. The pilot will require no disruption for customers in terms of their gas appliances or the way they use gas at home and is perfectly safe.

Gateshead Council is supporting HyDeploy, as part of our commitment to tackling climate change and reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the region.

John McElroy, Gateshead Council’s cabinet member for environment and transport said: “We all have a duty to act to help prevent further climate breakdown which is already causing serious damage around the world.  The council has committed to being carbon neutral by 2030 and by taking part in innovative pilots such as these we can further help ensure Gateshead is making a positive contribution to reversing the effects of climate change.”

The pilot in Winlaton will provide important evidence that will help inform how hydrogen could be used more widely in a practical, affordable way, and will be the first time most customers will have experienced using it for energy in their homes.

All customers who are taking part in the pilot have been contacted and gas safety checks are being carried out in homes and buildings in the pilot area.

A small number of dedicated unmanned homes at Cumbria’s remote RAF base are heated at 100 per hydrogen.

Tim Harwood, who oversees the Northern Gas Networks hydrogen project whose infrastructure covers Winlaton, said “Gateshead’s experiment was the next important step before starting 100% hydrogen heating in public trials. .. Another gas network, SGN, has recently secured funding from energy regulator Ofgem and was able to proceed with a test in 2022 to heat a Levenmas home in Fife, Scotland with 100% hydrogen, as will Northern Gas Networks.”

Keith Owen, Head of Systems Development and Energy Strategy at Northern Gas Networks said: “The North is ideally positioned to be at the forefront of emerging hydrogen and low carbon technologies and the North East Energy Catalyst will play a leading role in making this a reality. Through the HyDeploy project, based at our InTEGReL facility at Low Thornley, the community of Winlaton, Gateshead, will soon receive the first hydrogen blended gas delivered in a public network. In addition, at the InTEGReL site we’re building the UK’s first hydrogen house, which will be used to demonstrate hydrogen fed appliances and our innovative customer energy village will showcase the very latest hydrogen and other low carbon technologies, to demonstrate that a rapid hydrogen transition is possible.”

Source: Gateshead Council/Northeast LEP

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