ScottishPower and carbon capture company Storegga are to build a series of green hydrogen projects in the Highlands.
The first development within this collaboration will be the Cromarty Hydrogen Project, where the companies will work to deliver up to 20 tonnes of green hydrogen per day from 2024, displacing fossil fuel use in the area north of Inverness.
Depending on demand, this project has the potential to expand to 300MW in a series of modular expansion phases, ScottishPower said. The green hydrogen will initially be used for heating processes at distilleries, with additional potential applications including supplying other local manufacturing, food production and industrial heating applications.
It follows a feasibility study run by the Scottish energy giant and Storegga, in collaboration with major distillers Diageo, Glenmorangie and Whyte & Mackay in the Cromarty region.
“This is a really exciting milestone in our ambitions to support the growth of green hydrogen production across the country and the decarbonisation of heavy industry,” said Barry Carruthers, hydrogen director at ScottishPower.
“We can now get to work on turning plans on paper into tangible and deliverable projects that will transform industry in the Highlands – making a long and lasting difference for people, businesses and communities.
Discussions are now underway with other customers and industries to identify the next green hydrogen projects the companies will pursue.
ScottishPower highlighted the benefits of transitioning to green hydrogen for many industries, helping sectors like heavy transport decarbonise, but also providing additional energy security due to being a ‘home-made’ alternative.
Support for green hydrogen in the UK has been growing, following the release of the government’s hydrogen strategy in August 2021, outlining a target of 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030.
A number of companies have announced significant projects since, including Octopus Hydrogen and BayWa r.e. signing a Memorandum of Understanding for the development of sites, bp announcing a 500MWe green hydrogen project in Teeside and Macquarie’s GIG announcing a plan to develop green hydrogen on Orkney.
ScottishPower is also developing the Whitelee green hydrogen project, which was awarded £9.4 million in funding in November 2021.