SSE, Equinor mull UK hydrogen storage project
UK renewable energy company SSE and Norwegian major Equinor on July 15 announced plans in the UK to develop what could be the largest hydrogen storage facility in the world.
SSE Thermal and Equinor co-own the Aldbrough gas storage facility, which consists of nine underground salt caverns on the East Yorkshire coast. SSE told NGW in May it was retaining the asset in its portfolio, although it is selling some of its other infrastructure, with a view to repurposing them for hydrogen.
“Upgrading the site to store hydrogen would involve converting the existing caverns or creating new purpose-built caverns to store the low-carbon fuel,” the companies explained.
The partners said the Aldbrough site is ideal for storing hydrogen, and once completed by 2028, would have a storage capacity larger than any other similar site in the world today, with 320 GWh of storage envisioned.
Aldbrough could be used to store hydrogen for a nearby hydrogen power station in the Humber region. For the future, the companies said the facility could have the potential to advance green hydrogen developments regionally.
Green hydrogen is produced by using renewable energy to power an electrolyser to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.
“By delivering large-scale hydrogen storage capacity, we can utilise hydrogen to decarbonise vital power generation, as well as heavy industry, heat, transport, and other hard-to-reach sectors, safeguarding and creating crucial jobs and investment across the region,” said Stephen Wheeler, the managing director at SSE Thermal.
Both companies are involved in the Dogger Bank wind farm off Yorkshire, the largest such facility in the world. The companies said that storage capacity is necessary for a large-scale hydrogen economy, with hydrogen serving as a backup to renewable power sources.
SSE and Equinor said their hydrogen storage plans at Aldbrough are still in the development stage.
Equinor in June said it was tripling its ambitions for hydrogen in an effort to decarbonise the Humber industrial region in the UK.