Ofgem has announced £9.07 million for a ‘first of its kind’ offline hydrogen research facility.
The facility at Spadeadam, Cumbria aims to investigate how transmission assets could be used to transport hydrogen in the future, to heat homes and deliver green energy to industry.
National Grid is partnering with Northern Gas Networks and Fluxys Belgium to build the test facility.
The project, which will be delivered by the risk management and energy group DNV GL with support provided by the independent regulator HSE Science Division, Durham University and the University of Edinburgh, will involve using retired assets to create a network where hydrogen will be tested at transmission pressures, to assess how the equipment performs.
The £12.7 million project will be supported through Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition, a programme that offers companies the opportunity to compete for funding for the development and demonstration of new technologies. The remaining amount will come from the project partners.
Jonathan Brearley, Chief Executive of Ofgem, said: “The high level of ambition shown by bidders in this year’s Network Innovation Competition is hugely encouraging and shows the energy industry getting behind the challenge of net zero.
“The winning projects were those which showed the most potential to make the game-changing leaps in technology we need to build a greener, fairer energy system at the lowest cost to consumers.”
Antony Green, Project Director for Hydrogen at National Grid, commented: “Today’s announcement is a major step forward and shows Ofgem’s commitment to net zero investment. If we truly want to reach a net zero decarbonised future, we need to replace methane with green alternatives like hydrogen.
“Sectors such as heat are difficult to decarbonise, and the importance of the gas networks to the UK’s current energy supply means projects like this are crucial if we are to deliver low carbon energy, reliably and safely to all consumers.”