Centrica Business Solutions has invested in an industrial joint venture with HiiROC as part of a UK initial trial to inject hydrogen into a grid-connected gas-fired power plant at Brigg, Lincolnshire. The purpose of the pilot project is to better understand the role of hydrogen in power production.
The 12-month trial is one of 20 projects part-funded by an £8 million Open Innovation Programme from the Net Zero Technology Centre (NZTC), which is received from the UK and Scottish governments. Each project is designed to develop technology that could reduce offshore emissions, accelerate the production of clean energy and enable the UK to achieve carbon net zero ambitions.
The 49MW gas-fired station at Brigg is designed to meet demand during peak periods or when renewable energy production is low and generally operates for less than three hours per day. The combination of hydrogen and natural gas decreases the overall carbon intensity.
In the initial stages of the trial, it is expected that 3% of the gas mixture will be hydrogen and will gradually increase to 20%. The long-term vision is to move towards 100% hydrogen and roll out similar technology to decarbonise other gas-fired power stations.
Centrica Business Solutions will use HiiROC’s proprietary technology for the project which converts biomethane, flare gas or natural gas into clean hydrogen and carbon black, through an innovative Thermal Plasma Electrolysis process. This can create low carbon, or potentially negative carbon, ‘emerald hydrogen’.
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