The European Marine Energy Centre is launching a project to use green hydrogen to decarbonise heat and power at Kirkwall Airport on the Scottish islands of Orkney.
Funded by the Scottish Government via Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the project – believed to be the first of its kind in the UK – will see a novel hydrogen combustion engine installed and demonstrated at the airport.
This project forms part of a package of initiatives to decarbonise the airport after a range of opportunities were identified in an energy consumption study which found that space and water heating demand in the airport terminal represented the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions after aircraft operations.
Scotland-based Doosan Babcock, together with its combined heat and power manufacturer 2G, will provide the hydrogen combustion technology.
2G’s hydrogen-ready CHP system will be coupled with the airport’s existing heating system to meet the heating and power requirements of the main airport buildings.
Due to be deployed for an extended trial period at the airport, the CHP plant will use green hydrogen supplied by EMEC to generate electricity as well as recover and use by-product heat to deliver an efficient and comprehensive energy solution.
This is the first 2G 100% hydrogen CHP system installed in the UK and the first of the Doosan Babcock-2G partnership, which combines 2G’s product portfolio with Doosan Babcock’s expertise in technology integration.
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Scotland’s Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, said hydrogen is “rapidly emerging as a sustainable solution for the decarbonisation of the economy and a key piece of the energy transition picture”.
“The Scottish Government is committed to supporting the aspirations of our islands communities to become hubs of energy innovation and climate change leaders, with an emphasis on energy transition, renewable energy and hydrogen production and this project will help inform our options on practical measures on how aviation can help achieve those goals”.
James Walker, hydrogen development manager at EMEC, said: “Decarbonising heating requires innovative solutions and is a challenge that must be tackled in delivering net zero energy systems, including in aviation.
“Orkney is now well established as a ‘living laboratory’ where new technologies, and their roles in delivering a future clean energy system, are demonstrated.
“We are very excited to build on our work supporting HIAL to decarbonise Kirkwall Airport and we look forward to collaborating with HIAL and Doosan Babcock as we seek to continue the decarbonisation of Orkney’s energy system piece by piece.”
Doosan Babcock’s chief executive Andy Colquhoun said the project would demonstrates that “green hydrogen can be generated from renewable power sources, stored and then used to decarbonise heat and power on commercial and industrial sites”.
And Mark Holtmann, managing director at 2G, added: “The future of hydrogen is truly an exciting and revolutionary turning point for the decarbonisation of energy usage.”