SGN has secured funding of £29.9 million to test high-pressure pipelines for hydrogen transmission and storage as an option for net-zero heating.
The funding from the energy regulator Ofgem and gas distribution companies will help determine whether Great Britain’s transmission networks can be repurposed for hydrogen gas.
The project will be based in Grangemouth, Scotland, and delivered in partnership with Global Chemical Company, INEOS, which has extensive manufacturing and infrastructure facilities.
The Local Transmission System (LTS) is the critical infrastructure connecting towns and cities to the National Transmission System. Gas distribution networks manage around 11,000km of these high-pressure pipelines originally designed to transport and store natural gas. The LTS takes gas from the National Transmission System at a reduced pressure so that it can be transported directly to the industry.
After further reductions in pressure, it also feeds into gas distribution networks to be used in homes and by businesses. An important function of the LTS is to store gas when demand is low, so we have a resilient supply of gas covering peak times in the day and periods of cold weather.
Part of the National Hydrogen Programme is to ‘define the role of the LTS in system transformation and facilitating industrial clusters’. With Scotland and the UK targeting net zero by 2045 and 2050 respectively, SGN is preparing the gas network for greener alternatives like hydrogen.
The project is examining the safety, security, financial and storage considerations of incorporating existing gas infrastructure in our future net zero energy system.
SGN’s project team will research, develop, test and evidence the compatibility with hydrogen of the Grangemouth pipeline in preparation for a first of its kind repurposing trial and demonstration in 2024. Its partner INEOS will supply the hydrogen for the live trial.
It’s part of a national coordinated series of hydrogen industry projects and demonstrations underway right now, including the world-first hydrogen for home heating H100 Fife project.
Gus Mcintosh, Director at SGN, said, “Our Local Transmission System is part of the national critical infrastructure that reaches millions of homes and businesses across the UK. So, repurposing it for hydrogen could support a hydrogen system transformation that is least cost and least disruptive to customers.”
Andrew Gardner, Chairman INEOS Grangemouth, said: “This trial, in partnership with SGN, will play a vital role in helping to make hydrogen networks a reality, delivering cleaner fuels for both homes and businesses alike.”