Clean energy solutions provider, H2Tec Limited, has been chosen to perform key upgrades to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC)’s hydrogen production plant in Orkney. H2Tec, which is a subsidiary of Edinburgh-based hydrogen tech firm, Logan Energy, will perform the program upgrades as part of the €11.7 million project, Integrating Tidal Energy into the European Grid (ITEG), funded by the European Union’s regional development body, Interreg North-West Europe.
The scope of work in the contract awarded to H2Tec includes improvements to the efficiency of the system by procuring, installing, pressure testing and commissioning an essential pipework control panel to connect newly generated hydrogen to on-site storage tanks.
Home to a vast renewable resource and the world’s first and only purpose-built open-sea testing facility for wave and tidal energy convertors, EMEC’s base in Orkney is a hub for renewable development and green hydrogen research and development.
EMEC’s hydrogen production facilities were installed on the island of Eday to harness surplus wind and tidal power to generate hydrogen via electrolysis. The hydrogen stores this excess energy, which can then be used locally when needed, helping to decarbonise power, heat and transport applications. The ITEG project, due for completion in 2021, will develop a combined tidal energy and hydrogen production solution, helping to address grid export limitations faced in remote communities.
H2Tec’s program upgrades will support this effort by optimising new and existing equipment to improve efficiency between the hydrogen production plant and storage facilities at the Caldale site on Eday.
Commenting on the contract win, Bill Ireland, CEO of Logan Energy and H2Tec said: “The Orkney Islands, and the sea around them, possess fantastic natural energy resources, which cannot be fully utilised at present because of the islands’ limited grid connection with mainland Scotland. Oftentimes, capacity restrictions in power cables lead to wind energy production being capped, in a process known as curtailment but hydrogen generation from renewables can offer a solution by storing energy that would otherwise be wasted.”
“Orkney already generates over 100% of its electricity demand from renewables every year, but the grid limitations confine Orkney’s export potential. It is important that we ensure the full potential of our renewable alternatives are being harnessed, and that operational challenges are overcome. Taking the necessary safety precautions at this time, we are committed to maintaining operations at our Wallyford base, continuing to support centres such as EMEC to make positive steps towards net-zero targets and pioneer the growth of renewable hydrogen production on an industrial scale.”