Consumer leader confirms plans to several UK green hydrogen projects

Posted on 24 April 2023

​Leading consumer goods company Kimberly Clark anticipates the wind facility intended to service its first UK-based green hydrogen project to be active by the end of the year after the Government confirmed support for electrolysers last week. The business, which owns several big brands such as Andrex and Huggies, is celebrating the progress of the project near Barrow-in-Furness and its success in securing a place in the UK’s Hydrogen Business Model Strategy Shortlist. The shortlist was recently announced as part of a focus on green policy publications, including various projects expected to receive public funding and benefit from enhanced streamlined planning processes.

Managed by Carlton Power, the project intends to co-locate 35MW of electrolyser facilities combined with a 40MW energy storage system at the Cumberhead West Wind Farm. The 126MW wind farm is currently under construction, and completion is expected later this year. Green hydrogen production should then be achievable by 2025. Kimberly-Clark is also planning to offtake green hydrogen from the project to support its paper site in Cumbria, replacing natural gas. This plan was announced last year, but the recently confirmed Government support is a major step forward. Until hydrogen production begins, Kimberly-Clark will offtake renewable electricity from the wind farm through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). It will utilise this electricity at three manufacturing sites and two distribution centres nationwide.

Two additional green hydrogen projects associated with Kimerly-Clark were detailed on the UK Government Hydrogen Business Model Strategy Shortlist - one in Northfleet, Kent and another in Flint, North Wales. Both projects are managed by HYRO, representing a partnership between RES and Octopus Energy. HYRO’s long-term vision is to invest £3 billion in green hydrogen in the UK.

The two electrolyser projects will have a combined capacity of over 22MW. Similar to the project in Cumbria, they will use renewable electricity to electrolyse water and produce green hydrogen. The hydrogen will be stored and fed into hydrogen-specific boilers within Kimberly Clark sites. Dan Howells, the MD of Kimberly Clark for the UK and Ireland, explains that a lot of work has gone towards developing green hydrogen projects and considers how promising it is to see that the UK government has selected them for their funding shortlist. Howells believes these developments represent a considerable step towards their vision of moving completely to renewable energy to manufacture their products in the UK by 2030. Howells highlights that they can only achieve their decarbonisation goals through innovative partnerships and by applying the latest technologies.

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