A multi-partner plan involving the Port of Cromarty Firth has been launched to establish a green hydrogen hub in the Scottish Highlands
The North of Scotland Hydrogen Programme aims to develop a green hydrogen hub in the Cromarty Firth to produce, store and distribute hydrogen to the region, Scotland, other parts of the UK and Europe.
One of its projects will provide distilleries in the region with hydrogen. A feasibility study into this kick-starter Distilleries Project will begin this month and is due to be completed in June. It is being privately funded by partners including ScottishPower, drinks giants Glenmorangie, Whyte and Mackay, Diageo and Pale Blue Dot Energy who are also leading the project.
The green hydrogen from the hub would be produced using electrolysers powered by electricity from offshore windfarms off the coast of the Cromarty Firth, as well as onshore schemes, and fed to the hub.
Cromarty Forth chief executive Bob Buskie said the hub would provide a “massive boost” to Scotland’s ambitions of decarbonising its economy and establishing itself as a global leader in green hydrogen.
Up to 15 new offshore wind sites are due to be developed in Scottish waters in the coming years, with a significant number of the schemes on the ‘doorstep’ of the Cromarty Firth. That, along with the port’s deep waters, established facilities and location at the end of the gas grid and in close proximity to large amounts of renewable energy, make the area perfect for a green hydrogen hub.
Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said, “It is clear that hydrogen will not only help us end our contribution to causing climate change but could also create significant economic opportunities in Scotland, and in helping sustain new economic opportunities in a port that has a long track record as a supply chain hub for offshore energy developments.
“It will also support the Just Transition of the North Sea supply chain. The North of Scotland Hydrogen Programme is an exciting example of collaboration and regional hydrogen innovation required to realise the significant economic and environmental potential that hydrogen presents in Scotland.
“Our Hydrogen Policy Statement, published last year, highlights the importance of the development of regional hubs of hydrogen activity and innovation which will be central to ensuring we can make the most of Scotland’s massive potential in this new sector – a sector in which Scotland looks likely to have a significant competitive advantage.”
ScottishPower hydrogen director Barry Carruthers said, “The North of Scotland Hydrogen Programme is a flagship project, showcasing how partnerships across energy and industry can deliver long-term, sustainable solutions for areas where electrification can’t reach.
“The Highlands of Scotland have been at the heart of the renewable energy revolution over the past two decades and now they look set to be at the centre of the green hydrogen revolution. We look forward to working with our partners on this project and begin our wider work to deliver green hydrogen across the UK.”
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