South Bank in Redcar and Cleveland, North Yorkshire, could soon become the base for the next phase of hydrogen energy project H21, as the UK looks towards its net zero commitments.
Launched in 2016 and led by Northern Gas Networks (NGN), H21 aims to demonstrate that existing UK gas networks can be converted to carry 100% hydrogen for use in homes and businesses.
Under the proposal, which is subject to planning approval, the existing gas pipes on the site would be used to test a series of standard gas network procedures using hydrogen.
Mark Horsley, Chief Executive for Northern Gas Networks said: “Hydrogen can play a key role in the UK’s future energy mix as we move towards zero carbon emissions.”
“The H21 programme is demonstrating that the UK’s existing gas network can carry hydrogen, for use by homes and businesses.”
“Teesside’s vast industrial heritage makes it a natural home for this project, and we’re delighted that Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council have approved this first stage.”
“We now need to work with the South Bank community and its leaders, and the proposals will be subject to full public consultation before they can progress.”
The outlined proposal by NGN to lease the disused land was approved at a council cabinet meeting on Tuesday (16th June).
Consultation sessions with local residents will also be carried out. Originally, these sessions were planned for March but had to be pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Horsley added, “It’s essential that this project has the backing of local people. In the coming months, we will be sharing more information with the community about the potential of hydrogen and plans for the site.”
Councillor Wayne Davies, Cabinet Member for Economic Development at Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council said, “Redcar & Cleveland is at the heart of the drive towards a low carbon economy and the Council has set an ambitious target to be a carbon neutral borough by 2030.”
“NGN’s proposal could attract national and international interest in the hydrogen economy and the challenge to decarbonise heat. This very much aligns with the Council’s own carbon objectives.”