Locogen and their partners have successfully secured funding for four innovative green hydrogen projects as part of the Scottish Government’s Emerging Energy Technologies Fund. The projects will investigate co-locating hydrogen production facilities with onshore solar and wind developments to maximise the use of renewable assets.
All four projects have their own innovative objectives, from investigating the use of sea water or grey water, to assessing the use of hydrogen for agro-forestry and exploring the feasibility of a mobile electrolyser to travel between onshore developments. We are working with our project partners to deliver these projects, these include Orkney Islands Council, Chartmount Landholdings, Scotland’s Rural College and Temporis Capital Ltd.
Co-locating hydrogen production with existing onshore renewables
In helping our clients to develop and manage onshore renewable energy projects, we regularly encounter prohibitive grid connection issues with sometimes unfeasible grid connection costs and timescales. Grid curtailment of operational assets and new projects is also a frequent observation. We therefore see a huge opportunity to co-locate hydrogen production with onshore renewable developments to maximise the use of renewable assets, avoid curtailments, overcome grid constraints and facilitate a distributed energy economy. Our projects will investigate the feasibility of co-locating hydrogen production plants with existing onshore solar, onshore wind and both solar and wind at a single site.
Alternative water sources for hydrogen production
Green hydrogen is predominantly created via electrolysis (using an electrolyser) using power generated from renewable assets. This involves splitting water molecules and therefore a water source is required for any electrolysis project. Established electrolyser manufacturers require water to be of tap water quality to supply their systems. This not only creates a new market for tap water, but also competes with our existing demands for drinking water. Moreover, many onshore renewable sites do not have access to a mains water connection, which makes co-locating electrolysers problematic. Proactively investigating how alternative water sources can be used for hydrogen production can alleviate current and future potential resource constraints. Our projects focus on investigating the feasibility of purifying and utilising sea water, disused quarry water, rainwater and agricultural wastewater streams, for use in electrolyers.
Distributed green hydrogen production
Onshore renewables are naturally distributed and are increasingly facing curtailment due to grid limitations, which impacts profitability as well as the use of clean power. One of our projects will look at the feasibility of a mobile hydrogen production system which could produce green hydrogen across multiple onshore solar and/or wind sites that are frequently curtailed or restricted (have a grid export agreement which is less than the installed generating capacity). If feasible it would enable the use of this otherwise wasted green power and facilitate the creation of a distributed hydrogen market which compliments the future growth of renewables. Such a system could be deployed on a portfolio basis which would allow asset owners to maximise the value of their entire portfolio of sites rather than just a single site.
Decarbonising agriculture with green hydrogen
There are many potential end uses for hydrogen across the energy landscape. The ‘hydrogen pyramid’ or ‘ladder’ has been frequently used as a means of prioritising sectors where hydrogen would be one of the most techno-economic options for replacing fossil fuels. Such priority uses include alternative chemical feedstock (e.g. fertiliser, methanol), steel manufacturing, shipping, long-term storage, high temperature industrial heat, HGVs and vehicle fleets. One of our projects focusses on off—road vehicles, which is one of the high priority use cases, and specifically within the agricultural and forestry sectors. The project aims to explore opportunities for remote rural green hydrogen production for supplying the agricultural and forestry sectors.
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