Australia’s hydrogen future
To meet the ambitious net-zero carbon emissions targets set by the UK and Scottish Governments, sectors like heating and transport must decarbonise: transitioning away from using fossil fuels to zero-carbon alternatives like hydrogen and biomethane. These sectors are part of our day-to-day lives, but the global climate emergency means that these changes can no longer wait. Progress needs to be made at pace and on a considerable scale.
Wood partnered with gas distribution network operator, SGN, on its H100 project to explore the feasibility of supplying green hydrogen for domestic heating at a proposed site at Machrihanish, on Scotland’s west coast. As part of SGN’s efforts to decarbonise the energy system and reduce emissions, the company is investigating the role that hydrogen can play, and the H100 project is a key element of this.
Identifying the social, commercial and technical issues associated with the design and construction specific to the Machrihanish site, Wood provided feasibility and front-end engineering design solutions which detailed the location and specifications of the proposed green hydrogen production and storage facility. We also mapped the distribution network route to meet a 300-home equivalent hydrogen heat network, ensuring security of supply to each premises.
To evaluate the suitability of the Machrihanish site and produce the initial high-level site designs and costs for the site, Wood brought together a multi-disciplinary team from across the business including environmental planning, geographical mapping, visualization, process and pipeline engineering, renewables and hydrogen power experts to deliver a turnkey solution for SGN.
Understanding potential expansion plans, building contingency and future-proofing the design, Wood also secured planning consent on behalf of SGN for the production and storage facility within the first three months of submitting the planning application.
Wood worked on the project in collaboration with the community-owned Machrihanish Airbase Community Company (MACC). Any eventual build-out of the project at this location would not only provide benefit in hosting a world-leading green hydrogen project but from income for the community company from the plant operator.
The completed feasibility and early design work allowed SGN to make an informed decision on which of their three candidate sites to take forward first into the demonstration phase. As a result, the first H100 demonstration project will initially supply hydrogen to homes in Fife, Scotland laying the foundations for change while giving residents in the local area the opportunity to be at the leading edge of the low-carbon economy.
When powered by renewable energy, the generation and burning of hydrogen produces no carbon, making it one of the most effective, scalable ways of providing heating while tackling climate change. On completion, this project will be the first of its kind to employ a direct supply of renewable power to produce green hydrogen energy, heating up to 300 homes in the first instance.
While ‘H100 Fife’ is proposed as the site for the first hydrogen network, SGN sees significant potential for 100% hydrogen networks at a later date in Machrihanish and Aberdeen, which was the other candidate location assessed.
As we continue to work with our clients on their energy transition journeys, we were delighted to partner with SGN to deliver its innovative plans to use clean fuels for domestic heating. This is a pioneering development that could make a significant contribution towards the decarbonisation of the UK’s heating sector.