Green light for Scottish hydrogen hub
Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond today gave the green light for a pioneering clean energy hub in Scotland, including Europe’s largest hydrogen bus fleet, as he announced funding of up to £3.3 million for the EU-backed project.
The Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise funding will enable Aberdeen City Council, supported by Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, to start the project’s first phase with an order for 10 hydrogen fuel-cell buses – which produce water vapour instead of carbon monoxide and other harmful emissions.
They will be operated on First and Stagecoach bus routes in the city by early 2014 and will be refuelled at Scotland’s first large hydrogen refuelling station, which will also be able to refuel hydrogen-powered passenger cars, as they become available. Scottish & Southern Energy Power Distribution (SSEPD), working with industrial gases and clean energy technologies business BOC, will develop an integrated ‘whole hydrogen’ system which can harness wind energy to produce and store hydrogen that is then used as fuel for the bus fleet, as well as for generating electricity at times of peak demand.
The First Minister said:
“Through our Green Bus Fund, the Scottish Government is already supporting the roll-out of 74 low carbon buses, such as diesel-electric hybrids, to reduce harmful vehicle emissions. Hydrogen buses will produce zero local emissions. Aberdeen is already Europe’s offshore energy capital and this exciting new project can help position it as a leading city for low carbon technology and green transport. With a strong group of project partners, this initiative will boost Scotland’s profile as a key hydrogen technology hub and a world-leading investment location for pioneering low carbon energy and transport systems.”
The Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise have each committed up to £1.65 million to support the project, which has also received funding from the European Commission, and the UK Technology Strategy Board. In addition to the City Council, SSE and the two bus operators, other project partners include Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, Ballard Power Systems, BOC, Scotia Gas Networks and Van Hool.