Cheshire East Council has secured planning permission to build a green hydrogen refuelling compound in Middlewich, bringing both carbon and air quality benefits to Cheshire East.
Working with Storengy, funding for the £1m scheme was secured earlier this year and initially will see a trial of two bin wagons converted to take home-produced hydrogen.
Installed at the Cheshire East’s environmental hub in Middlewich, the facility will produce hydrogen using an electrolyser connected to solar panels.
“We are committed to reducing our own emissions and becoming carbon neutral by 2025,” said Councillor Nick Mannion, Cheshire East Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Regeneration.
“This approval of planning permission for this scheme is an exciting step towards achieving that target.”
Initially, two big wagons, one owned by the council and one by Storengy, will be converted to green hydrogen which will reduce the council and Storenegy’s diesel use by more than 10,000 litres per year.
“This trial using hydrogen is important as hopefully it will prove suitable for our heavier and long-range vehicles, making it an alternative to diesel for our refuse vehicles as they deliver their services across our borough,” said Councillor Quentin Abel, Cheshire East Council’s Climate Change Champion.
“The green hydrogen will be produced in an environmentally friendly way at the depot through renewable energy, also removing the need for fuel to be transported onto site.”
The scheme is funded by both public and private sector money – with a £345,000 grant from the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund.