Scottish energy company SSE Thermal in collaboration with the Norwegian energy giant Equinor ASA will build the world’s first Hydrogen power plant alongside a low-carbon power plant in the UK’s Humber region.
The two plants will be named as Keadby-Hydrogen and Keadby-3. Keadby Hydrogen will be the world’s first 100% Hydrogen-fired power station which will generate 900MW of electricity with zero emissions at the point of combustion. Whereas Keadby-3 will generate the same amount of power using Natural Gas as the fuel and will possess carbon capture & storage (CCS) technology to remove CO2 from its emissions. The captured carbon dioxide will be transported via pipelines to be stored permanently under Southern North Sea.
The necessary infrastructure will be built through Zero Carbon Humber (ZCH) partnership which would involve development of parallel hydrogen and CO2 pipeline infrastructure includes Equinor and SSE Thermal and– and the development of offshore CO2 infrastructure by the six-member Northern Endurance Partnership (NEP) including Equinor. Both ZCH and NEP have been rewarded public funding from the UK’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund in March.
Britain has set a net zero emissions target for 2050 and in order to achieve this, the country would need to slash carbon emissions by 78% till 2035. Hence, both the power plants are likely to bid well for UK towards achieving that goal. Northern England mostly Humber and Teeside forms nearly half of UK’s industrial emissions as there is heavy dominance of industrial plants. These two regions are also rising as harbingers for the carbon capture storage technology projects in UK.
Commenting on its agreement with Equinor, Managing Director of SSE Thermal, Stephen Wheeler, remarked, “We're delighted to be announcing this agreement with Equinor through which we aim to develop these first-of-a-kind low-carbon power stations. By utilizing cutting-edge carbon capture and hydrogen solutions, we can decarbonize power generation, heavy industry and hard-to-reach sectors of the economy. With over 12 million tonnes of annual carbon emissions, ideal transport and storage options, and major energy and industrial companies working together, the Humber has to be at the centre of the UK’s decarbonisation strategy.”
Grete Tveit, Senior Vice President for Low Carbon Solutions at Equinor also mentioned that, ”These world-leading power plants at Keadby will accelerate efforts across the Humber to create a decarbonised industrial cluster, and contribute to the UK’s goals for a green industrial revolution and reaching net zero. They are a further step in Equinor’s ambitions for the Humber, following on from our H2H Saltend project that will start producing low-carbon hydrogen at scale by the mid-2020s. We believe these technologies are vital for heavy industry, flexible power and other hard-to-abate sectors to achieve net zero emissions, while also ensuring a just transition for industrial communities.”
As per the company’s latest press release, Keadby-3 could start production by 2027 while Keadby Hydrogen will turn online before end of 2030. However, companies did not disclose the overall cost for the two plants.