Winlaton, Gateshead became the first community to receive hydrogen blended with natural gas via the public natural gas network covering 668 houses, a church and a school that received the blend for almost a year.
A ground-breaking green energy project that could pave the way for Britain to cut its carbon emissions and help dramatically tackle climate change has been completed.
The HyDeploy project saw up to 20% hydrogen blended with natural gas on a public gas network in Winlaton, Gateshead operated by Northern Gas Networks.
In a pilot lasting 11 months, West Lane Primary school, St Paul’s church and 668 homes in Winlaton, Gateshead used up to 20% of hydrogen (by volume) blended into a public natural gas network for the first time.
Customers continued to use their gas supply and appliances as normal, without any changes needed to gas appliances, including boilers, cookers and fires, or pipework, as current gas appliances are designed to operate with a blend of up to 23% hydrogen.
The first phase of HyDeploy saw 100 homes and around 30 commercial buildings on a closed network at Keele University successfully use the hydrogen blend for a period of 18 months which ended in spring 2021.
HyDeploy is continuing to test the safe use of blended hydrogen for domestic and commercial use. In addition, there are ongoing projects testing the use of hydrogen for heat, including the Hydrogen Homes at Low Thornley near Gateshead where 100% hydrogen can be seen in use in a show home boiler, cooker, hob, fire and even a barbecue.
Fergal O’Donovan, Hydrogen Programme Manager at Northern Gas Networks, said, “The recent unprecedented hot weather has brought the need to tackle climate change to the forefront of people’s mind, and this project has demonstrated that hydrogen blending can play a role in decarbonising heat with no disruption.”
Dr Angela Needle, Director of Strategy at Cadent, said, “We’ve been thrilled to pass the baton from the first ever hydrogen blending trial at Keele University to Northern Gas Networks who have successfully completed blending into the gas network in the village of Winlaton. This project is the culmination of a huge amount of work putting consumers at the heart of the energy transition.”