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Trafford Green Hydrogen advances 200 MW renewable fuel hub in UK

Highlights

Planning application submitted, start-up expected in 2023

Direct connection to 20 MW solar plant

Trafford Green Hydrogen has advanced its proposed 200 MW renewable hydrogen fuel hub in Manchester, UK, submitting a planning application for the project, the company said on Aug. 11.

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The commercial renewable hydrogen facility is set to be one of the largest in the UK, and will supply local customers in the transport and industrial sectors, Trafford Green Hydrogen said in a statement.

Renewable electricity will come from a new private wire connected 20 MW solar plant and from the grid, using power purchase agreements to source the renewable power, parent company Carlton Power projects director Eric Adams told S&P Global Platts in an email.

The renewable power will be in addition to the existing generation, making it eligible for consideration under the revised renewable transport fuel obligation which comes into effect at the end of 2021.

"Hydrogen is expected to play a major part in reducing the UK's CO2 emissions, helping the country's journey towards net zero," Trafford Green Hydrogen said. "In the commercial transport sector, government support for hydrogen fuel is expected to make it easier for transport fleet operators to make the switch from diesel."

Construction of the hydrogen hub at the Trafford Low Carbon Energy Park will start in early 2022, subject to a successful outcome on planning application and financing, and will enter commercial operation in 2023, it said.

"We are advancing discussions with potential offtakers with a view to signing initial agreements in advance of financial close, scheduled for the first quarter 2022," Adams said.

The electrolyzer technology will be selected following a procurement process in 2021, Adams said.

The hydrogen hub will produce and store hydrogen from wind and solar power at scale, the company said, and will sit next to the 250 MWh Carlton Highview Power liquid air storage project.

Carlton Power plans to develop up to 10 other similar hydrogen projects in the next two to five years, the company said.

The announcement comes ahead of an expected hydrogen strategy from the UK government, which is expected to include support measures for both renewable hydrogen from electrolysis of water and low-carbon hydrogen produced from fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage. Incentives for the use of hydrogen in industry and the transport sector could also be part of the strategy.

Platts assessed the cost of producing hydrogen via alkaline electrolysis in the UK (including capex) at GBP6.13/kg ($8.47/kg) on Aug. 10. PEM electrolysis production was assessed at GBP7.46/kg, while blue hydrogen production by autothermal reforming was assessed at GBP2.60/kg (including capex, CCS and carbon).