Greater Manchester is set to gain its first low-carbon hydrogen fuel hub courtesy of developer Carlton Power having secured planning permission for phase one of a £300 million scheme.
Gaining the planning consent is recognised as an important milestone for the hydrogen project. This will allow the development of a 200MW Trafford Green Hydrogen scheme aiming to harness renewable energy to produce green hydrogen fuel for transportation and heating.
Speaking exclusively to Current±, Carlton disclosed that it is progressing plans for a directly connected solar farm which will supplement the renewable power purchase agreements (PPAs) in order to meet the needs of the project’s offtakers.
The project could reduce the carbon footprint of industry, transport and residential homes with hydrogen holding promise within these sectors. Carlton has also stated this has turned the Manchester project in the UK’s largest consented green hydrogen scheme.
“The development of the Trafford Green Hydrogen project, as a part of the Trafford Low Carbon Energy Park, will be a spur for industry and transport operators in the Greater Manchester region to accelerate their plans to use green hydrogen and achieve their net zero carbon targets,” said Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester.
“It also provides an important stimulus to job creation in Greater Manchester and further investment in renewable energy generation which will, in time, provide greater energy security. I’m delighted that Greater Manchester is in the vanguard of creating a vibrant hydrogen economy in this country, and I urge the UK Government to support this pioneering scheme.”
The Trafford Green Hydrogen project is positioning itself to be a catalyst for more low-carbon generation and greater energy security in the North West. This will also boost green investment in the sector and create more jobs in the renewable space.
Carlton Power is taking forward the project with the support and involvement of a local consortium, comprising of Manchester Metropolitan University, Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), Trafford Council, Cadent Gas and Electricity North West.
If built, the Trafford Green Hydrogen will be situated next to one of Europe’s largest energy storage facilities based on liquid air storage, Carlton said. Carlton Highview Storage – a joint venture between Carlton Power and long duration energy storage firm Highview Power Storage – will develop the 50MW/250MWh CRYOBattery in Trafford, Greater Manchester.
“Trafford Green Hydrogen is ideally situated to provide local industry and transport operators with low-carbon hydrogen fuel. It will also stimulate investment in the region’s energy infrastructure and accelerate the region’s energy transition,” said Eric Adams, hydrogen projects director at Carlton Power.
“The economic and environmental benefits are clear. Working with our local partners, our focus now turns towards securing the UK Government’s support to this project and our proposed green hydrogen schemes at Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria and Langage in the South West of England.”
Greater Manchester could meet net zero by 2038 but only if it acts now as there is “no room for delay or error”, stated an Electricity North West report released in August 2020.
It said that if the region would tackle energy efficiency, replace fossil fuels with zero-carbon hydrogen and use green electricity generated more locally, it would have the potential to become an “energy transition lighthouse” for the rest of the UK.