Wind turbine in a bay in Levenmouth, Fife

Hydrogen projects get green light with millions of pounds in Ofgem funding

Hydrogen to heat our homes has taken a step nearer to reality with the award by Ofgem of millions of pounds to two projects, which will develop a network of hydrogen manufactured by wind to 300 homes, and a hydrogen transmission test facility.

The funding is part of Ofgem’s annual Network Innovation Competition to test new technologies and approaches that help cut carbon emissions and costs for consumers.

H100 Fife saw SGN awarded up to £18 million towards delivering a 100 per cent green hydrogen generation, storage and distribution network to heat 300 homes. The hydrogen would be manufactured using offshore wind power. Ofgem’s award also triggers a further investment of £6.9 million from the Scottish Government.

National Grid Gas Transmission was awarded £9.07 million to build a hydrogen test facility using decommissioned gas transmission infrastructure to better understand how hydrogen interacts with existing network transmission.

Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of Ofgem, said: “The winning projects were those that showed the most potential to make the game-changing leaps in technology we need to build a greener, fairer energy system at the lowest cost to consumers.”

SGN and Britain’s three other gas distribution networks are providing further funding for the H100 project. Work will now begin on delivering a 100 per cent hydrogen demonstration network in Levenmouth, Fife, that will bring carbon-free heating and cooking to around 300 homes from the end of 2022.

The project will provide evidence of hydrogen’s performance in a real-world domestic setting as a zero-carbon energy source, as the Scottish and UK governments look to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2045 and 2050 respectively, says SGN.

Hydrogen will be produced locally by a dedicated electrolysis plant powered by a nearby offshore wind turbine. The project will be the first of its kind to use a direct clean power supply to produce hydrogen for domestic heating, putting the Fife town at the forefront of the green energy revolution.

National Grid’s FutureGrid project aims to look at the possibility of converting the National Transmission System (NTS) to transport hydrogen. The facility will be built from a range of decommissioned transmission assets, to create a representative whole network, which will be used to trial hydrogen and will allow for accurate results to be analysed. Blends of hydrogen up to 100 per cent will then be tested at transmission pressures, to assess performance.

The hydrogen research facility will remain separate from the main NTS so that testing can be carried out in a controlled environment.

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