Ofgem backs hydrogen research facility


A first of a kind offline hydrogen research facility has been awarded funding from Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition.

On 30 November, National Grid, which is partnering with Northern Gas Networks and Fluxys Belgium, outlined how the £12.7mn facility will be built from a range of decommissioned assets to create a representative transmission network to see how transmission assets could be used to transport hydrogen in future to heat homes and deliver green energy to industry. It will receive £9.07mn from Ofgem, with the remaining funds coming from project partners.

Blends of up to 100% hydrogen will be tested at transmission pressures to see how the assets perform. It will be kept separate from the main National Transmission System, ensuring testing can take place in a controlled environment with no risk to the safety and reliability of the existing gas transmission network. Construction will begin in 2021, with testing then getting underway in 2022.

DNV GL is the lead delivery partner for designing, constructing and operating the high-pressure hydrogen research facility at its site in Spadeadam in Cumbria. The HSE Science Division will support on the project, with academic partners Durham University and the University of Edinburgh.

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