Plans filed for green hydrogen production hub near Manchester

Plans for a green hydrogen production hub in Carrington, near Manchester, have taken a step forward with the submission of a planning application. The developers are hoping to bring it online in 2023.

Pictured: The intended location of the facility, next to Carlton Power's existing gas facilities in Carrington. Image: Carlton Power

Pictured: The intended location of the facility, next to Carlton Power's existing gas facilities in Carrington. Image: Carlton Power

The plans have been drawn up by Trafford Green Hydrogen subsidiary Carlton Power and were submitted to Trafford Council earlier this week.

They outline how a green hydrogen production facility could be created on land owned by the business at its existing power station site. The facility would include an electrolyser powered by renewable electricity, gas compressors, hydrogen storage facilities and tanker loading facilities.

Carlton Power has submitted a full planning application for a production facility with a 10MW capacity, which would produce around four tonnes of hydrogen daily. This facility could enter commercial operation in 2023 if planning permission is granted within the expected timeframe and construction begins in early 2022.

There is also an outline planning application detailing how capacity could be scaled to 200MW, or 50 tonnes of hydrogen per day. Carlton Power has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Manchester Metropolitan University, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), Trafford Council, Cadent Gas and Electricity North West on this expansion.

Carlton Power currently operates a gas power plant at its energy park. The planning documents stipulate that, if the 200MW facility is approved, natural gas will be “replaced entirely”. Planning permission has already been granted for large-scale battery storage, liquid air storage and flexible gas capacity at the energy park.

“The hydrogen hub is an important component of our Trafford Low-Carbon Energy Park,” Carlton Power’s chief executive Keith Clarke said.

“Trafford Park is set to become an exemplar of clean energy technologies being put to commercial use, placing Greater Manchester at the forefront of the green revolution and the UK’s energy transition.”

Aside from the project detailed above, Carlton Power is hoping to develop up to 10 other low-carbon hydrogen projects across the UK within the next five years.

Policy clarity

The publication of the planning documents comes as the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is reportedly planning to publish the Hydrogen Strategy, which should add longer-term clarity to the Ten-Point Plan funding commitment of £500m to develop 5GW of low-carbon hydrogen production capacity in the UK by 2030.

The Strategy had originally been due last Autumn and was then delayed. Nonetheless, even after these initial delays, it was due ahead of the start of Parliament’s summer recess on 22 July.

It is widely expected that the Strategy will detail support for blue hydrogen as well as green. Blue hydrogen is produced by splitting natural gas and capturing process emissions using carbon capture and storage (CCS) or carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) technology. By some estimates, 75% of the Government’s spend on low-carbon hydrogen to date has gone towards blue hydrogen – the climate credentials of which are increasingly being questioned.

Sarah George



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