Innovative wind-to-hydrogen projects to receive funding from UK government

The UK government has announced the details of support for innovative green and blue hydrogen production, from the net zero hydrogen fund.

Suction-bucket technology was used for the jacket foundations at the EOWDC Aberdeen Bay, off Scotland. It will receive £9.3m to demonstrate hydrogen production from offshore wind (pic credit: Vattenfall)

The UK is hedging its bets by supporting both ‘green’ hydrogen projects, with electrolysis linked to renewable energy, and ‘blue’ hydrogen options from gas with carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Alongside the announcement of the successful projects, on 30 March, it also published around 40 strategy documents, consultations, analyses and progress reports around its plan to move the economy towards net zero

Fifteen projects won support from the net zero hydrogen fund, 13 of which were for green hydrogen. They included:

  • Statkraft’s Trecwn green energy hub at an ex-military site in Pembrokeshire, Wales. A 15MW electrolyser system is to be co-located with onshore wind and solar installations, with all the renewable power generated used in the production of green hydrogen. 
  • Inverness green hydrogen hub, a 6MW alkaline electrolyser that could be scaled-up to 24MW. The facility would be powered by wind and solar and backed by grid-connected renewable energy.
  • Kintore hydrogen, a 3GW grid-connected project that will use excess wind power in Scotland. The hydrogen would be supplied to Statera Energy, a battery storage and flexible generation provider, and to carbon-intensive industries through existing gas pipelines. The government will jointly fund front-end engineering design, planning and consenting work for the initial 500MW phase, ahead of an investment decision in 2025. The full 3GW of production is expected in 2030.

Previous announcements

Other green hydrogen projects had already been supported via grants announced under streams 1 and 2 of the £33m low-carbon hydrogen supply competition.

Stream 1 phase 2 awarded £19m (€21.6m) to five projects to support physical demonstration of innovative hydrogen supply solutions. Among them, the Aspire (ammonia synthesis plant from intermittent renewable energy) project, led by the Science and Technology Facilities Council, was awarded more than £4m to build a flexible green ammonia demonstration plant that can run from wind or solar.

Stream 2 funding supported physical demos of innovative hydrogen supply solutions, including three green hydrogen projects:

  • A Vattenfall-led consortium won £9.3m for full-scale demonstration of combined offshore wind and hydrogen production at the developer’s 97MW EOWDC Aberdeen Bay offshore wind farm. Power from an 8.8MW turbine will be dedicated to hydrogen production, with the electrolyser integrated into the turbine and expected to operate independently from the grid. A pipeline would transport the hydrogen to shore for processing and delivery to end users. Vattenfall aims to commence operation in early 2025.
  • Environmental Resources Management was awarded £8.6m for a commercial-scale demonstration of its ERM Dolphyn modular design, which combines electrolysis, desalination and hydrogen production on a floating wind platform. It will undergo offshore trials this year. ERM has identified several commercial sites: the first is the 300MW Dylan in the Celtic Sea, which is being developed in collaboration with Source Energie and is due to be operational by 2028.
  • Solid hydrogen at low pressures, led by H2GO Power, won £4.3m to design and build a modular hydrogen solid-state storage solution.