Plans for the world’s first domestic hydrogen heating grid have been submitted to Fife Council.
Gas network operator SGN has submitted its plans for H100 Fife, a first-of-its-kind “education and presentation centre”, showing how hydrogen could be used to heat homes instead of natural gas.
The model homes, designed to look like a typical family dwelling, will feature hydrogen-powered domestic appliances such as hobs and boilers.
SGN aim to have the facility completed first to sell the concept of the alternative fuel before it begins work on the other part of the project – a hydrogen production and storage facility that will power up to 300 homes in the Levenmouth area.
The project is being supported with funding from national energy regulator Ofgem, the Scottish Government and other UK gas distribution networks.
Hydrogen has been hailed as a fuel of the future as it creates no carbon emissions.The only by-product of burning hydrogen is water, however, the gas is expensive to produce and store.
SGN aims to create the fuel through a process known as electrolysis, which uses electricity to separate hydrogen from oxygen using a supply of water. The facility will be powered by an offshore wind turbine, which in theory means it will be a 100% carbon-free source of energy.
Angus McIntosh, SGN’s director of energy futures, said of the project in November: “H100 Fife is the UK’s priority project in this area and is designed to demonstrate hydrogen distribution and in-home performance in a real-world setting.
“It’s an exciting opportunity to revolutionise the way millions of people heat their homes. The hydrogen appliances will connect to the existing pipes in the home for zero carbon heating and cooking with minimal disruption and with no need to replace existing radiators or plumbing.”
SGN has pledged that anyone who signs up to trial hydrogen will receive a free hydrogen connection, replacement appliances and free maintenance for the duration of the H100 project. It has also promised to keep prices for hydrogen the same as natural gas for those involved in the pilot.
Fife Council planners have given early support to the project and do not anticipate approval being met with any obstacles. A formal decision on the application is due in the near future.
Reporting by local democracy reporter Jon Brady