GREEN HYDROGEN FUTURE FOR WESTERN ISLES WITH MAJOR CLEAN ENERGY INVESTMENT
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, PlusZero Ltd and UHI Outer Hebrides to power up green hydrogen production at Creed Hydrogen Skills and Innovation Centre
Plans to transform the Western Isles into a world-leading hub for clean energy production are to take a leap forward with the support of a match-funded grant from the Scottish Government’s Hydrogen Innovation Scheme’s Emerging Energy Technologies Fund, worth £1.129 million.
In a major vote of confidence for the Western Isles’ green energy future, clean power start-up PlusZero Ltd is to work in partnership with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and UHI Outer Hebrides to power up green hydrogen production at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar's Creed Park, Stornoway - creating new facilities for hands-on hydrogen technology training and next generation electrolyser research and field testing.
The Outer Hebrides currently has 420MW of consented onshore wind farm developments that are unable to progress to construction due to a lack of off-take capacity. PlusZero’s electrolyser will use surplus electricity produced by local onshore renewable power to produce green hydrogen via the electrolysis process.
The new Creed Hydrogen Skills and Innovation Centre draws together expertise from the public and private sectors, universities and local communities in a ground-breaking collaboration that will deliver the skilled workforce and robust hydrogen technology needed to support the Outer Hebrides ambitions to be Scotland’s leading green-hydrogen production hub - playing a key role in achieving the Scottish Government’s targets for delivering 5 gigawatts of hydrogen production by 2030.
Established in 202 Harris-based PlusZero Ltd specialises in the production, distribution and operation of green hydrogen, and is a green hydrogen partner for Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.
Paul Steele, Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said:
“This project builds on the innovative hydrogen projects led by the Comhairle since 2007, when one of the first hydrogen refuelling stations in Scotland was installed at Creed Park.
“In addition to upgrading hydrogen production facilities, it will provide a platform for specialist hydrogen training to be provided locally by UHI Outer Hebrides, ensuring that workforce skills are available to take advantage of the growing green hydrogen economy.”
Uisdean Robertson, Chair of Transportation and Infrastructure, said:
“This is an exciting project which will allow further use of hydrogen as a fuel for heavy goods vehicles and buses and help the move away from fossil fuels to achieve zero emissions targets. As an island community, locally produced green hydrogen has the potential to be a net zero, sustainable vehicle fuel that is less impacted by global markets.”
David Amos, Managing Director at PlusZero said:
“With its unique blend of extensive and highly scalable onshore and offshore wind assets, I am delighted that the Outer Hebrides will be home to this ground-breaking new Centre that will unlock the full promise of island-produced renewable energy by transforming it into green hydrogen - a near limitless, carbon zero, pollution-free source of fuel for the 21st century.
“PlusZero’s partnership with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and UHI Outer Hebrides, in collaboration with the community and local businesses, can go a long way to achieving the Western Isles’ rapid transition to a clean energy future by investing in the skills and innovation required to create jobs and a green hydrogen economy on the islands.
“With the support of the Scottish Hydrogen Innovation Scheme, we are making hydrogen happen.”
Hannah Ritchie-Muir, Principal at UHI Outer Hebrides said:
“The Creed Hydrogen Skills and Innovation project has been created through collaboration and shared expertise. The support from the Scottish Government means our project can provide cutting edge facilities for the delivery of training and research and place the Outer Hebrides at the forefront of Green Hydrogen Technology.
“UHI Outer Hebrides is proud to play its part in the green revolution by providing access to training and research, which will support the creation of skilled jobs locally and create a clean energy source for our rural and island communities. As we move towards our planned merger with UHI North Highland and UHI West Highland, to form UHI North, West and Hebrides, we are well placed in terms of our location and expertise to provide the distinctive learning, research and innovation opportunities which will support jobs of the future in areas like net zero decarbonisation and renewable energy.”
The First Minister, Humza Yousaf MSP, said:
“We have committed £100 million, over this parliamentary session, to supporting the green hydrogen sector.
“Part of that funding has been allocated to the Hydrogen Innovation Scheme, which supports feasibility studies, technical demonstrations and testing facilities for new ideas about how to produce, store and distribute hydrogen.
“I am pleased to be able to confirm today that through this scheme, grants worth a total of £7 million have been allocated to 32 different projects.
“The projects cover a wide range of different areas - such as how to produce and store hydrogen on floating windfarms, and how to decarbonise agriculture and forestry work in rural areas. Together, they show the range of possible ways in which hydrogen can be produced, used and stored. They highlight the expertise and innovation that is already such an important part of the sector. And, of course, they demonstrate the scale of the opportunities that hydrogen can create.”
Notes to editors:
Attached photograph shows David Macleod, Head of Municipal Services at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar with the First Minister of Scotland, Humza Yousaf MSP and David Amos, Managing Director of PlusZero Ltd at the All Energy Conference in Glasgow on 10 May 2023.
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For media enquiries relating to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, please contact:
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About PlusZero Ltd
PlusZero is transforming the clean energy sector – the driver for new economic growth worldwide. Its Green Hydrogen from the Western Isles provides a carbon-zero, pollution-free source of fuel for the 21st century.
PlusZero Energy uses surplus electricity produced by local renewable wind power to split water into hydrogen and oxygen using a process called electrolysis. This captures renewable energy that would otherwise be lost (as the sun doesn’t always shine or wind always blow) – unlocking the full promise of renewable energy.
PlusZero Power then uses this Green Hydrogen to fuel hydrogen combustion engines, giving customers clean power wherever they need it. PlusZero Power has been powering outdoor events since early 2021 and is increasing its hydrogen generator range to meet the varied demand for clean portable power in the events, outdoor filming, construction and industrial sectors.
The company’s expert team and extensive networks of hydrogen and engineering specialists give it unparalleled insight into fast-evolving hydrogen technologies. Collaboration is central to PlusZero’s strategic approach. It works together with public sector, community, and business partners in the Western Isles, the UK, and beyond to secure direct community and environmental benefits – above all, clean energy.
PlusZero - a community-based solution for a global market.
About Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is the Local Authority for the Western Isles.
About UHI Outer Hebrides
UHI Outer Hebrides is a further and higher education college in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, and is part of the University of the Highlands and Islands
We have centres established throughout the Outer Hebrides - Our Centres - UHI Outer Hebrides.
Find out more about our courses at UHI Outer Hebrides – Courses - UHI Outer Hebrides.
UHI North Highland, UHI Outer Hebrides and UHI West Highland will merge in August 2023 to from UHI North, West and Hebrides, subject to Scottish Government approval. By coming together, they will create a more sustainable organisation with combined capacity and resource to grow the curriculum, research, and innovation; develop existing and new partnerships to support employers address skills gaps and retain, attract, and nurture talent; and become more responsive to the social, cultural, and economic opportunities in our regions. Lydia Rohmer has been appointed Principal Designate of UHI North, West and Hebrides.
About the Scottish Government’s Hydrogen Innovation Scheme
The Hydrogen Innovation Scheme was launched in June 2022 and is targeted at supporting innovation under the themes of renewable hydrogen production, hydrogen storage and distribution, and integration of hydrogen into Scotland’s energy system.
For more information on the Scheme and the 32 projects awarded funding, please see: www.gov.scot/news/investing-in-green-hydrogen/