Go-ahead for first hydrogen-to-homes network

The hydrogen will be produced through electrolysis powered by an offshore wind turbine

Gas network company SGN says that customers in Fife will be the first in the world to heat their homes and cook their food using 100% zero-carbon hydrogen. The hydrogen, which will be produced through electrolysis powered by an offshore wind turbine, will be supplied through a new network connected to 300 homes. 

The commitment from SGN follows confirmation that energy regulator Ofgem will award up to £18m from its annual Network Innovation Competition to support the development of the new network. Ofgem’s decision triggers a further investment of £6.9m from the Scottish government. SGN’s shareholders and Britain’s three other gas distribution networks are also providing funding for the project.

Participating customers will use hydrogen boilers, heaters and cooking appliances in their homes during the 4.5-year initial trial, providing insight into how 100% hydrogen can support day-to-day living all year round. 

Phase one of the H100 Fife project will connect an initial 300 homes in Levenmouth to a new hydrogen network from the end of 2022, with potential expansion of up to 1,000 homes following a successful completion of phase one. 

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H100 Fife hopes 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.

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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.”

Ofgem chief executive Jonathan Brearley said: “The winning projects were those which showed the most potential to make the game-changing leaps in technology we need to build a greener, fairer energy system at the lowest cost to consumers.”

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