Aberdeen City Council has announced bp as its preferred bidder for a commercial hydrogen partnership. Following a tender process which commenced in June, the Aberdeen Hydrogen Hub concept will enable the continued development of a hydrogen economy in the city.
A key part of the program will involve the creation of Scotland’s first scalable green hydrogen production facility. Phase 1, which involves delivery of a green hydrogen facility, is targeting first operations from 2024.
As a result, options could include using power drawn from a new photovoltaic solar farm, green power purchase agreements and a private wire grid connection to generate hydrogen for buses, heavy goods vehicles and large vans.
Future phases could then see production scaled up through further investment to supply larger volumes of hydrogen for rail, freight and marine, as well as supply of hydrogen for heat and potentially export. This would be enabled by the expected increased availability of local renewable energy sources, including offshore wind developments that emerge from the ScotWind leasing round.
The Aberdeen Hydrogen Hub program will support Aberdeen City Council’s ambitions to create a climate positive city and build inclusive growth through supporting hydrogen supply chain development, skills and training, and wider community benefits. A study commissioned by Aberdeen City Council on the growth in demand for hydrogen power estimates that if the hydrogen hub enables the export of renewable hydrogen, then 700 skilled jobs could be created in the hydrogen industry by 2030.
“This is a huge announcement for Aberdeen,” says Aberdeen City Councillor Jenny Laing. “It paves the way for the city to be a world leader in the production of hydrogen-based green fuel and energy. It will help create a cleaner, more sustainable city for local people and it also provides us with the opportunity to create hundreds of skilled jobs and add millions to the Aberdeen economy.”
“bp wants to play a leading role in Scotland’s energy transition as is evidenced by this news and our transformational bid in the ScotWind offshore wind leasing round,” states Louise Kingham OBE, bp’s UK head of country and senior vice president for Europe. “These new business opportunities are underpinned by our 50-plus years of operations in the North Sea where, based out of Aberdeen, we have built up vast skills and experience that are directly transferable to emerging energy industries.
Aberdeen City Council embarked upon its hydrogen journey more than 10 years ago and has already demonstrated how demand can be created within cities, using the zero-emission fuel to power a fleet of 25 buses, 60 public sector vehicles and waste trucks, as well as the P&J Live events complex.
As the preferred bidder, bp will now work with Aberdeen City Council to conclude the contractual process which will lead to the set-up of the joint venture. Work will then commence on the required front end engineering design work, with the aim of making a final investment decision on the selected development concept in 2023.
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