Gas network company SGN is seeking approval from UK regulator Ofgem for a world-first programme using green hydrogen from offshore wind to heat homes
If approval for the H100 Fife project is granted, SGN plans to use electricity from the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s Levenmouth offshore wind turbine in Scotland to produce green hydrogen. The project is intended to provide evidence for a potential zero-carbon energy source, helping to inform the UK’s long-term policy decisions for decarbonisation.
H100 Fife has passed the initial screening submission process for Ofgem’s annual Network Innovation Competition, and a full bid for funding will be submitted this summer.
“If successful, we will build a new, 100% zero-carbon hydrogen network in Levenmouth, producing hydrogen via an electrolysis plant powered by the ORE Catapult’s offshore wind turbine,” SGN said.
“The proposed hydrogen production and storage system and heating network will run alongside the current natural gas system, demonstrating every aspect of an end-to-end hydrogen-to-homes system to support plans for large scale roll-out in the future.”
SGN director of energy futures Angus McIntosh said, “Hydrogen is an exciting energy vector that at scale could provide similar levels of safe, secure, reliable and affordable energy to what we enjoy now, with minimal disruption for customers.
“The project will provide key national evidence for hydrogen’s role in the UK’s energy transition and critical insight into the customer value proposition of hydrogen for heat.”
The green hydrogen from renewable energy project will be designed and built to ensure at least the same safety and reliability standards expected from the current gas system.
An on-site storage unit will hold enough hydrogen to ensure supply will not be disrupted during even the coldest weather conditions.
H100 Fife is part of the national Gas Goes Green initiative, a collaborative series of projects to prove the viability of hydrogen for heat. They share an objective to demonstrate how the UK’s gas network – which is connected to 23M homes and businesses – can provide a clear and cost-effective pathway to decarbonise heat through hydrogen at low cost, at pace and at scale.
Decarbonising gas networks is necessary to achieve the Scottish Government and UK Government’s carbon net-zero targets by 2045 and 2050 respectively. The industry seeks to evidence that among the alternatives for decarbonising heat, hydrogen offers an attractive, low disruption and lower cost solution for customers.
The project aims to provide insight into hydrogen demand and supply management, security of supply and ‘real world’ asset operation.
As well as testing technical and engineering capabilities, the project will provide SGN with valuable insights into customer appetite and interest for hydrogen. Customers can participate on an opt-in basis, meaning they will have the choice to switch to hydrogen, or remain with their existing natural gas supply. A demonstration facility within the project is proposed to allow customers to interact with hydrogen appliances in a home-like setting prior to opting-in.
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