Equinor and SSE Thermal plan to build one of the world’s largest hydrogen storage facilities at their existing Aldbrough site on the East Yorkshire coast.
The Aldbrough Gas Storage facility, which was commissioned in 2011, is co-owned by SSE Thermal and Equinor. The facility consists of nine underground salt caverns.
The new storage capacity is expected to reach around 320 GWh, which would be larger than any current existing hydrogen storage facility in the world. The Aldbrough facility would be ideal for storing the low-carbon hydrogen to be produced and used in the Humber region. The facility up-gradation would involve converting the existing caverns or creating new purpose-built caverns to store the low-carbon hydrogen and would be ready by 2028.
The Aldbrough facility would initially store the hydrogen produced for the Keadby Hydrogen Power Station. Besides helping power generation, the facility would support hydrogen ambitions in other sectors such as heat, industry and transport in the region. The Aldbrough Hydrogen Storage project also includes the joint venture to build the Dogger Bank Offshore Wind Farm, the largest offshore wind farm in the world.
Aldbrough Hydrogen Storage project is in the development stage, and final investment decisions will depend on the necessary business models and associated infrastructure.
Hydrogen storage will be vital in creating a large-scale hydrogen economy in the UK and balancing the overall energy system by providing backup where large proportions of energy are produced from renewable power.
Equinor also plans to develop 1.8 GW of blue hydrogen production in the region, starting with its 0.6 GW H2H Saltend project supplying hydrogen locally from the mid-2020s. It will be followed by a 1.2 GW production facility to supply the Keadby Hydrogen Power Station, proposed by SSE Thermal and Equinor as the world’s first 100% hydrogen-fired power station by 2030.
Stephen Wheeler, MD of SSE Thermal, said, “We’re delighted to be announcing our plans for the development of this world-leading hydrogen storage facility with our partners in Equinor, which would play a vital role in creating a low-carbon hydrogen economy in the Humber and beyond.”
Grete Tveit, Senior VP for Low Carbon Solutions at Equinor, said, “Projects such as these are critical for efforts to reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement and contributing to the UK’s goals to become a world leader in low carbon.”