The Isle of Wight off the UK’s south coast is to become a test bed for hydrogen fuel technology in a £4.66 million project led by energy storage and clean fuel company ITM Power.
With a £1.3 million grant from the government-backed Technology Strategy Board, ITM Power will partner on the project with Ecoisland Partnership CIC – a community-based initiative aiming to make the Isle of Wight self-sustaining by the end of the decade.
The project is one of five being sponsored by the Technology Strategy Board, which also include an end-to-end, green hydrogen production, distribution and retailing system in London; a wind-powered hydrogen generation system in Aberdeen to serve a fleet of fuel cell buses and two solar-generated hydrogen projects in Swindon and Surrey.
Also taking part in the Isle of Wight project and providing backing are SSE, Toshiba, IBM, Cable and Wireless, Cheetah Marine, the National Physical Laboratory, Arcola Energy, and the Universities of Glamorgan and Nottingham.
The island will be home to a hydrogen energy production, storage and vehicle refuelling system, which will be integrated into the existing power network.
An electrolyser-based refueller will be linked into the island’s renewable energy developments to serve as a demand side management load.
Low-carbon hydrogen will be produced for use as a vehicle fuel, which will be supplied by two grid-connected hydrogen refuelling platforms.
The larger of the two refuellers will be sited on a centrally located business park to serve a fleet of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles from Hyundai, Microcab and River Simple.
Vestas, SSE and Southern Water will be using the hydrogen-powered vehicles as part of the car club being set up by Ecoisland Partnership CIC.
The other, smaller refueller will be located on the south coast of the island to serve hydrogen-powered boats.
“Ecoisland represents a quantum leap for renewable technologies in the UK,” says ITM Power CEO Graham Cooley. “ITM’s energy storage and clean fuel technology will be at the heart of this project that gives us an ideal opportunity to link our equipment with world leading smart grid technologies to create the integrated energy grid of the future.”
For further information:
Germany plans €40 million network of 50 hydrogen stations (28-Jun)
UK fuel cell firm Intelligent Energy generates $35 million in funding (1-Mar)
UK fuel cell pioneers to benefit from £1 million boost (22-Feb)
UK government launches hydrogen initiative with industry (18-Jan)
19 July 2012