Wales & West Utilities has got the go-ahead to inject gas containing up to 1% hydrogen into its network in Swindon in southwest England.
The gas distribution business is working with low carbon fuel producer Advanced Biofuel Solutions Ltd (ABSL) on the initiative, which is expected to start in October.
The so-called bio-substitute natural gas with a hydrogen content of up to 1% has required an exemption to the standard requirements. Its use is expected to reduce the carbon emissions by up to 5,000t for almost 2,500 local homes immediately.
“It’s another important step in demonstrating the use of the existing safe and reliable gas network in the UK to transport hydrogen,” says Sarah Williams, Wales & West Utilities Director of Regulation and Asset Strategy.
“The 2020s must be a decade of delivery, where we put the research and development work that has been done on hydrogen into practice. This project will help support ambitious plans across the UK to convert villages to hydrogen, help heavy industry decarbonise and meet government’s aspirations on hydrogen for home heating.”
The development forms part of the commitment to prepare the gas network to transport green hydrogen and biomethane to support the decarbonisation of heating and sectors including power, industry and transport.
Earlier this year Britain’s gas network companies set out hydrogen ambitions including working towards blending up to 20% hydrogen into local gas grids by 2023 and converting villages to run on 100% hydrogen by 2025.
Earlier this year also Wales & West Utilities appointed gas engineer Iain Morley, formerly with energy infrastructure company Morrison Utility Services, as its hydrogen transformation manager to manage the company’s work on hydrogen.
Latterly he was responsible for the operational delivery of Wales & West Utilities mains replacement programme.