Planning permission secured for Manchester green hydrogen hub

Trafford Park Green Hydrogen Scheme

On 3 October 2022, UK energy infrastructure company Carlton Power secured planning permission to build the UK’s largest green hydrogen hub.

Carlton Power is one of the UK’s most experienced energy infrastructure development companies.

Hydrogen is an incredibly versatile and powerful energy resource. It can act as a storer of energy and can be transported as liquid or gas. It is produced in a number of ways, one being an environmentally friendly process known as electrolysis. The longer aim is that hydrogen will be a reliable, green, energy source used to help to power homes, machinery and transport.

The Carlton Power hub, known as the Trafford Green Hydrogen scheme, worth £300 million, is expected to have an ultimate capacity of 200MW with an initial Phase One capacity of 15-20MW.

The hub will produce 100% green hydrogen for industry and transport operators in the Greater Manchester area.

The submitted plans outline how a green hydrogen production facility could be created on land owned by the business at its existing power station site. The facility will include an electrolyser powered by renewable electricity, gas compressors, hydrogen storage facilities and tanker loading facilities.

Carlton Power has submitted a full planning application for a production facility with a 10MW capacity, which would produce around four tonnes of hydrogen daily. This facility could enter commercial operation in 2023 if planning permission is granted within the expected timeframe and construction begins in early 2022.

They have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Manchester Metropolitan University, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), Trafford Council, Cadent Gas and Electricity North West on this expansion.

Carlton Power currently operates a gas power plant at its energy park. The planning documents stipulate that, if the 200MW facility is approved, natural gas will be replaced entirely. Planning permission has already been granted for large-scale battery storage, liquid air storage and flexible gas capacity at the energy park.

Carlton Power’s chief executive Keith Clarke said “The hydrogen hub is an important component of our Trafford Low-Carbon Energy Park.”

“Trafford Park is set to become an exemplar of clean energy technologies being put to commercial use, placing Greater Manchester at the forefront of the green revolution and the UK’s energy transition.”

Carlton Power also has plans to develop two other hydrogen hubs in Devon and Cumbria.

It is another example of companies pushing innovation in line with the UK government’s hydrogen strategy, which is seeking to achieve 10GW of green hydrogen energy production capacity by 2030.

The strategy explains how “Government investment in hydrogen to de-risk early projects could unlock over £4 billion of private sector co-investment up to 2030,” with up to 35% of the UK’s energy consumption coming from hydrogen.

Another key development in the UK hydrogen energy industry will see hydrogen injected into a gas-fired power station for the first time.

On 23 October 2022, energy provider Centrica announced that it will trial using hydrogen at its Brigg power station in Lincolnshire, as it seeks to reduce “carbon intensity” at its site.

The project, launching in the second half of 2023, will receive £8 million in government funding.

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