HyDeploy will see hydrogen added to a UK gas network following approval from the Health and Safety Executive
In the first trial of its kind in the UK, the HyDeploy project will inject hydrogen into an existing natural gas network.
Backed by Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition, the £7m project is being led by Cadent in partnership with Northern Gas Networks, Keele University, the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL), ITM Power, and Progressive Energy. It is supported by KIWA Gastec and engineering consultancy Otto Simon.
In 2019 HyDeploy will blend up to 20 per cent of hydrogen (by volume) with the normal gas supply in part of Keele University’s gas network.
Simon Fairman, director of Safety and Network Strategy, Cadent, said: “Hydrogen has the potential to address one of the most difficult sources of carbon emissions – heat. This trial could pave the way for a wider roll out of hydrogen blending, enabling us to begin cutting carbon emissions from heat as early as the mid-2020s, without customers needing to change their gas appliances or behaviour.
“HyDeploy could also prove to be the launchpad for a wider hydrogen economy, fuelling industry and transport and bringing with it new jobs.
The trial will take place on part of Keele University’s private gas network that serves 17 faculty buildings and 100 domestic properties.
The hydrogen will be produced by an electrolyser supplied by ITM Power that will be powered by renewable energy sources. Construction is due to start at the end of this year.
The HSE granted HyDeploy an exemption to the current limit of 0.1 per cent hydrogen in the UK gas network after the project showed that the hydrogen blend would be ‘as safe as natural gas’.
Gas safety checks were carried out in the homes and buildings in the trial area, and lab tests were carried out on gas appliances as well as extensive research on the effect of hydrogen on the different materials found in the gas network.
Keele University owns and operates its own private gas network and is working with businesses, academics and graduates to create Europe’s first ‘at scale’ multi-energy-vector smart energy network demonstrator where new energy-efficient technologies can be researched, developed and tested.