Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond has given the go ahead for a hydrogen clean energy hub in Aberdeen with backing of up to £3.3 million from the EU.
The hub, which is being supported by Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group with additional funding of up to £1.65 million each from the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise, will be home to Europe’s largest hydrogen bus fleet.
Initially, Aberdeen City Council will purchase ten hydrogen fuel cell buses, which will be operated on First and Stagecoach bus routes in the city by early 2014.
The buses, along with hydrogen-powered passenger cars, will be able to refuel at Scotland’s first large hydrogen refuelling station.
Meanwhile, Scottish & Southern Energy Power Distribution (SSEPD) will work with industrial gases specialist BOC to develop an integrated ‘while hydrogen’ system using wind energy to produce and store hydrogen. The system will produce hydrogen fuel for use by the bus fleet and generate electricity at times of peak demand.
“This is an ambitious project which allows us to explore new ways of managing energy flows on our network and should help keep the costs of energy down in the future,” says SSEPD’s director of distribution Stuart Hogarth.
The project has also received funding from the UK Technology Strategy Board and is being supported by fuel cell manufacturer Ballard Power Systems, Scotia Gas Networks and Van Hool.
“Aberdeen is already Europe’s offshore energy capital and this exciting new project can help position it as a leading city for low carbon technology and green transport,” commented Salmond. “With a strong group of project partners, this initiative will boost Scotland’s profile as a key hydrogen technology hub and a world-leading investment location for pioneering low carbon energy and transport systems.”
The Scottish Government has already supported the rollout of 74 low-carbon buses in the region such as diesel electric hybrids, but hydrogen fuel cells buses produce no emissions at all other than water vapour.
For further information:
Carbon Trust backs UK fuel cells pioneers with £1.95 million (2-Aug)
Isle of Wight to become UK’s hydrogen fuel test bed (19-Jul)
UK fuel cell pioneers to benefit from £1 million boost (22-Feb)
15 August 2012