Plans unveiled for Cumbria’s first low-carbon hydrogen hub

A new project has been outlined to build Cumbria’s first “low-carbon hydrogen hub”, which would produce fuel at scale for nearby businesses and support renewables generation by utilising hydrogen storage.

Plans unveiled for Cumbria’s first low-carbon hydrogen hub

Carlton Power would like the hub to come online by 2025

Carlton Power has proposed the development of a 35MW commercial hydrogen hub, located on industrial-zoned land in Barrow-in-Furness. The project, which is subject to planning and financing, would be supported through a Memorandum of Understanding with local stakeholders, comprising the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, Barrow Borough Council, Cadent and Electricity North West.

The project, which could come online in 2025 if approved, would aim to provide local carbon-intensive businesses with access to hydrogen fuel for power and transport. Carlton Power also claim that the hub would support the growth of renewable generation in the area, by utilising hydrogen as a storage option.

Carlton Power’s hydrogen projects director Eric Adams said: “We’re delighted to be working with key regional partners to bring forward this green hydrogen facility, which will help Cumbria’s decarbonisation efforts.

“It is critical that projects such as this are brought forward to support investment by local companies in their infrastructure that will enable a reduction in the carbon emissions associated with their operations.”

Carlton Power will seek financing support from the Government, namely through the Hydrogen Investment Package (HIP).

It will also work with signatories to the MoU to gain access to hydrogen expertise. Cadent, for example, is planning on blending hydrogen into its existing gas pipeline. Cadent delivers gas to more than 11 million houses and businesses in the UK and is leading on numerous pilot projects that inject zero-carbon hydrogen into an existing gas network.

Funding opportunities

Last month, the UK Government opened its first major funding rounds for green hydrogen production, as it eyes at least 5GW of installed capacity by 2030.

The Net Zero Hydrogen Fund, and the Hydrogen Business Model are now officially open. The Fund, first confirmed earlier this year, will provide up to £240m of grant funding from Government coffers to projects developing and building low-carbon hydrogen production projects. The first tranche of funding will go to green hydrogen production, which involves splitting water in electrolysers powered by renewable energy, while later rounds may go towards other production methods like blue (natural gas with carbon capture) or pink (electrolysers powered by nuclear electricity).

The Hydrogen Business Model, meanwhile, was first announced at the publication of the Hydrogen Strategy in August 2021. It is a contractual business model designed to help low-carbon hydrogen production projects access ongoing revenue support, in the form of finance from the private and public sectors. This is aimed at de-risking the investment process in this technology, which is in its commercial infancy in the UK.

Projects will be able to apply for both initiatives. The first allocation rounds will be made in early 2023.

edie’s Masters Series on hydrogen 

Centrica Business Solutions and edie recently worked together to produce a ‘Masters’ series on hydrogen production and usage that will be invaluable to any firm exploring its plans for a hydrogen future. The content now available on the edie website as part of that series is:

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