The first of up to 1,000 Fife homes could be powered by hydrogen as soon as winter 2022, if plans for a world-first scheme are given the go-ahead soon.
More details have come to light about the ambitious H100 Fife project, which will see customers in Methil become the first in the world to heat their homes and cook their food using 100% zero carbon hydrogen.
It will be produced through electrolysis via an offshore wind turbine and supplied through a new network connected to an initial 300 homes.
Gas network company SGN has submitted a formal planning application seeking permission to build a hydrogen demonstration facility at the Fife Energy Park.
The Courier has learned current timescales would see the first 300 homes in Levenmouth connected to a new hydrogen network from the end of 2022, with completion expected by the summer of 2023.
If all goes to plan, the project is in line to be extended to up to 1,000 homes beyond that as SGN aims to deliver the critical evidence base that proves hydrogen as a viable and zero-carbon alternative to heat the 23 million homes currently fitted with natural gas boilers across the UK.
SGN’s director of energy futures, Angus McIntosh, said: “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.”
The project was referenced in the Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution” launched on November 17 and supports the ambition of a pilot hydrogen town before the end of the decade.
According to supporting planning documents, SGN wants to create facilities for the production and storage of hydrogen, a site office, electrical plant room, security fencing and internal roads on land at the former Wellesley colliery.
Central to the plans is a hydrogen demonstration facility, which is modelled on a typical two-storey house – effectively be an education and presentation centre used to host public information events.
Two demonstration zones will be laid out as typical domestic properties, showcasing hydrogen appliances including boilers and gas hobs.
Participating customers will use hydrogen boilers, heaters and cooking appliances in their homes during a four-and-a-half year initial trial, providing valuable insight into how 100% hydrogen can support day-to-day living all year round.