Nine organisations spanning aerospace, shipping, hi-tech engineering and public utilities have linked up to form Hydrogen South West.
Launched on 21 June, Hydrogen South West will create an infrastructure ecosystem, forging links between supply and demand centres in the region, enabling cross-sector partnerships to drive the development of hydrogen infrastructure and technology. This will help to decarbonise the likes of transport, commerce and power, while also driving sustainable growth, upskilling the region and delivering new job opportunities.
The nine organisations involved are easyJet, Airbus, Hynamics, GKN Aerospace, Costain, Wood, Bristol Airport, Bristol Port and Wales and West Utilities. They will also work with Business West to create a skills development proposition to bring upskilling and employment benefits to communities across the West of England. This has been formalised with the Hydrogen South West Skills Consortium.
Several pilot projects are already being planned, including a Hydrogen Hub at Bristol Port. Here, a study is underway to explore configuring the port to accept hydrogen or ammonia by ship, power landside vehicles with hydrogen and establish a hydrogen production facility at the port. It also includes developing a local pipeline network and supporting Airbus’ hydrogen-powered aircraft of the future.
Project Acorn, meanwhile, is another pilot project being planned. With easyJet striving to begin flying hydrogen aircraft as soon as they become commercially viable, it is continuing with the research and development of hydrogen powered ground support equipment at Bristol Airport, as a means of preparing the ground.