A new facility near Plymouth could generate green hydrogen at scale within three years if the supporting policy framework is introduced. Carlton Power has announced plans to develop a major green hydrogen facility in the southwest region, stating that the facility will encourage industry and heavy transport operators across Devon and Cornwall to make the transition to low-carbon fuels. The infrastructure development company confirmed last week that it had planning consent from the local council to commence the first phase of the 10MW project, which is due to be located at the Langage Energy Park near Plymouth. Carlton Power believes fuel will be produced at scale from the new site within two to three years, providing the project gains support from the Government’s Hydrogen Investment Package.
The government has committed to accelerating the UK’s green hydrogen supply, which can be generated with zero emissions via electrolysis and renewables and blue hydrogen, produced from fossil fuels with carbon capture technology. Green hydrogen is a viable alternative for decarbonising several energy-intensive industrial activities, including heavy-duty vehicles, such as ships, lorries and planes. Eric Adams, the hydrogen projects director at Carlton Power, explains that the Langage site, located in an area currently seen as ‘freeport’ status, is ideal for the southwest’s first low carbon hydrogen hub. With further pressure for industrial businesses to move away from fossil fuels and work toward net zero, Langage Green Hydrogen and other similar projects can significantly contribute to the transition to a future hydrogen economy. The number of vital industrial sectors in the South West have limited opportunities to decarbonise and a regional hydrogen source will improve their net zero plans and the southwest’s low carbon goals.
Carlton Power said the new facility supports the growth of renewable electricity generation in the region. This site includes the possible launch of new marine energy projects and using it to generate and store hydrogen when renewable output is high and the electricity demand is low.
The southwest region already boasts some of the highest recorded levels of renewable energy generation in the UK, thanks to a large concentration of onshore wind and solar projects that have intermittently allowed the local grid to operate close to zero emissions.
The plans for the new hub have gained support from the regional low-carbon energy organisation Regen and the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership. Merlin Hyman, the CEO of Regen, said the confirmation of the first phase was very positive for the decarbonisation of the South West.
Hyman believes the approval for a green hydrogen production facility at Langage Energy Park is a significant move. Hyman explains that green hydrogen has a critical role to play by using renewable electricity to manufacture a low-carbon resource that can reduce emissions from industry and heavy transport.