Keele University hydrogen trial goes live in the UK

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A pilot project, developed by Keele University, has injected zero carbon hydrogen into an existing gas network for the first time in the UK.

The £7 million HyDeploy project is blending 20% of hydrogen into the university’s natural gas network, which is also connected to 100 homes and 30 faculty buildings. The addition of the hydrogen will reduce the amount of CO2 being produced by heating and cooking.

An electrolyser, made by energy solutions firm ITM Power, produces the hydrogen by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen. 

The project, which is the first live trial of its kind in the UK, is backed by Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition and is led by Cadent in partnership with Northern Gas Networks, Keele University, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Science Division, ITM Power and Progressive Energy.

Cadent’s chief safety and strategy officer Ed Syson said, “It is impossible to overstate the importance of this trial to the UK – this is the first ever practical demonstration of hydrogen in a modern gas network in this country.

“Hydrogen can help us tackle one of the most difficult sources of carbon emissions – heat. This trial could pave the way for a wider roll out of hydrogen blending, enabling consumers to cut carbon emissions without changing anything that they do.

“HyDeploy could also prove to be the launchpadfor a wider hydrogen economy, fuelling industry and transport, bringing new jobs and making Britain a world leader in this technology. Urgent action is needed on carbon emissions and HyDeploy is an important staging post on that journey in the UK.”