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7 November 2023
Renewable Energy

Wales & West Utilities Unveils Hydrogen Network Project to Catalyse Decarbonisation in North Wales

Hydrogen storage

Wales & West Utilities (WWU) has announced plans to assess the capability of its existing North Wales infrastructure for transporting hydrogen as part of its future network planning strategy.

The plans could be implemented in the early 2030s to support UK and Welsh Government ambitions for industrial decarbonisation.

  • The project will provide a detailed assessment of the potential of the existing infrastructure in Deeside and Wrexham industrial estates for transporting hydrogen.
  • The findings will suggest how industrial and commercial (I&C) customers can make use of existing infrastructure to adopt a hydrogen network and decarbonise in a cost-efficient way.
  • Part of the work will be to also understand how new infrastructure could open further opportunities for producing, transporting and storing hydrogen in North Wales.

The feasibility study – delivered in partnership with Apollo Engineering – will provide a detailed assessment of the infrastructure needed to advance opportunities for hydrogen in Wrexham and Deeside. This will include links with HyNet – which is developing core hydrogen and carbon dioxide pipeline infrastructure for the North West industrial cluster, with links in to North Wales.

WWU’s project will explore supply and demand scenarios, with the aim of understanding how much of the existing hydrogen rollout to industrial customers before 2030 and domestic customers after 2030. It will also develop options for changes to the current method for implementing industrial cost-sharing ‘infill’ schemes, which allows customers to share the cost of adopting a hydrogen network, and could reduce the cost of rolling out hydrogen for industry.

The study will build on findings from WWUs Regional Decarbonisation Pathways and the government’s Industrial Fuel Switching programme.

Matt Hindle, Head of Net Zero and Sustainability said:

“The 2020s must be a decade of delivery. Hydrogen will be vital to decarbonise industry, retaining jobs and developing new low carbon opportunities. We’re delighted to be launching this project with support from a range partners in industry, in line with the UK government’s Net Zero plans.”

“Our hydrogen plans will build on Wales's industrial heritage and kick-start the Green Industrial Revolution within the North East Wales cluster, to create a trusted, sustainable, prosperous and resilient industry that the citizens of Wales can continue to be proud of.”

Over 2022/23, WWU started 19 new projects, funded by a total investment of £2.2 million, including £1.5m of Network Innovation Allowance funding. A further 38 projects are planned for the rest of 2023 into 2024.

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