Equinor and SSE plans the world first hydrogen-fired power station

Keadby Hydrogen will be the first of its kind in the world where hydrogen will be used to fuel the power station

Equinor and SSE Thermal plan to build a power plant station powered by hydrogen in Humber, near Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, UK, H2 Bulletin reports.

The plan is to build two low carbon power stations; one would be powered by 100% hydrogen and the first in the world, while the other power plant would use carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology which would be the first of its kind in the UK. The plants will help the UK transition to net-zero and have the potential to create thousands of skilled jobs in the area. Both plants would replace older and carbon-intensive generation on the electricity grid, making a significant contribution to the UK’s 2030 targets for CCS and hydrogen.

The hydrogen-powered plant project is known as Keadby Hydrogen, which could account for a third of the UK’s 5 GW hydrogen production goal. The power station would have a peak demand of 1.8 GW of hydrogen. It would be the world’s first major 100% hydrogen-fired power station and could come online before 2030.

The CCS based power plant known as Keadby 3 could deliver 15% of the UK target for 10 million tonnes of carbon captured annually by 2030. It would be a 900 MW power station powered by natural gas. The captured CO2 would be shipped through pipelines for storing under the Southern North Sea. The project consultation stage was completed early this year, with the development consent application is planned for spring 2021. The project has the potential to come online by 2027.

The projects would use the CO2 pipeline infrastructure being developed by the Zero Carbon Humber (ZCH) partnership, of which Equinor and SSE Thermal are members. The project would also use the offshore CO2 infrastructure developed by the six-member Northern Endurance Partnership (NEP), including Equinor. Equinor’s H2H Saltend project will be the first to connect into the ZCH infrastructure and come online by the mid-2020s.

SSE Thermal and Equinor also agreed to explore options for hydrogen blending at SSE Thermal’s Keadby 2 project (already under construction), with both partners plan for further collaboration across the UK.

Kwasi Kwarteng, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said, “This new partnership will ensure that world-first technology is being developed in Scunthorpe and across the Humber.”

Stephen Wheeler, Managing Director of SSE Thermal, said, “These projects would play a major role in decarbonising the UK’s flexible generation capacity, while supporting a green economic recovery in the Humber.”

Grete Tveit, Senior Vice President for Low Carbon Solutions at Equinor, said, “We believe these technologies are vital for heavy industry, flexible power and other hard-to-abate sectors to achieve net-zero emissions, while also ensuring a just transition for industrial communities.”

Ethan Mandel

Ethan is the special correspondent for Europe covering the hydrogen industry for H2 Bulletin. Please click on the email icon to contact me via email or follow me on social media. I am reachable on Phone: +44 (0) 208 123 7812
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