ScottishPower plans 100MW green hydrogen hub at Port of Felixstowe

Image: Courtesy of the Port of Felixstowe

The energy company revealed on Monday afternoon (8 August) that it is proposing a 100MW electrolyser facility at the port, to produce hydrogen for use in the transport sector and in heavy industry, with a focus on industries that are predominant in the region, such as shipping and rail freight. This energy shift is of interest to Hutchinson Ports as it plots a pathway to net-zero for the UK’s busiest port.

Hydrogen produced at the plant could also be used in fertiliser, displacing fossil-based ammonia. This is an issue which is top-of-mind at present; with Russia’s war in Ukraine contributing to supply chain issues for fertiliser, many nations are seeking to increase their own production.

Scottish Power wants to produce at least 40 tonnes of green hydrogen each day at the port and forsees generation beginning in the 2025-26 financial year. Electricity to power the process will be procured from ScottishPower’s portfolio of wind farms in the UK.

The Guardian is reporting that ScottishPower has already applied to the Government for funding through the Net Zero Hydrogen Fund and that it estimates the project will cost between £100m and £150m to deliver. The Fund was confirmed earlier this year and will provide up to £240m of grant funding to hydrogen production, with the first funding round, specifically dedicated to green hydrogen, having opened last month. The Government has not yet updated the Fund website with further details of ScottishPower’s application.

ScottishPower’s hydrogen director Barry Carruthers said the project is “strategically important” and could “unlock nationally significant decarbonisation for the region, as well as playing a role in international markets”.

Former Environment Secretary Therese Coffey, MP for Suffolk Coastal, said she “warmly welcomes” plans for the hydrogen hub. “. It’s schemes like this – and investment from industry as well as government – which is crucial for us to reach net-zero by 2050.”

The proposed hydrogen hub is not the first from ScottishPower. The Iberdrola-owned firm first announced plans to co-locate a 200MW electrolyser facility with its Whitelee onshore wind farm near Glasgow in April 2021, and has since conducted a feasibility study for adding electrolysers at the Port of Cromarty Firth in partnership with Storegga, Pale Blue Dot Energy, Diageo, Glenmorangie and Whyte & Mackay. A final investment decision on this latter project is due by 2023.

Scotland, as part of its plans to reach net-zero by 2045, is planning to host 5GW of green hydrogen production capacity by 2030. The UK Government’s 2030 hydrogen target is for 10GW of ‘low-carbon’ generation capacity, a term it uses to cover green and blue hydrogen. Blue hydrogen is made using gas-fired processes co-located with carbon capture. BEIS has promised to release a low-carbon standard for hydrogen to allay concerns about the true lifecycle footprint of blue hydrogen.

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:

Follow the hyperlinks to access all of these resources.


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