The signing of a memorandum of understanding with Norwegian firm Gen2 Energy will provide a security of supply for Cromarty Firth’s own plans for a large-scale electrolyser facility.
It will also help realise the Scottish Government’s ambition to become a major hydrogen nation that generates five gigawatts of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen by 2030 – sufficient energy to power the equivalent of 1.8 million homes.
The firth will become the UK transhipment hub for Gen2 Energy’s hydrogen, produced from Norway’s surplus renewable energy, which will be shipped across the North Sea to the port. Hydrogen would then be distributed to customers across the UK by road, rail and sea.
Port of Cromarty Firth chief executive Bob Buskie said: “This is a historic moment for the port, and for the move towards green hydrogen as a reliable and secure source of energy in the Highlands, Scotland, and the UK.
“We are on the cusp of another renewable energy revolution, with demand for clean energy rising every year. This memorandum of understanding can put the Highlands on the map as one of the largest suppliers of clean hydrogen energy in Europe, alongside our established leadership in the onshore and offshore wind markets.
“Norway’s remote northern regions have similar issues to the Highlands in terms of an excess of renewable energy, and constraints on putting that energy into the electricity grid. However, they are significantly more advanced domestically in the production of green hydrogen.”