SSE pushes ahead with green hydrogen plans at Highland wind farm

Energy giant SSE is stepping up its green hydrogen push with a major new project at a wind farm site in the Highlands.

The Perth-headquartered group said the technology has the potential to aid energy security by maximising the amount of wind power that can be harnessed.

Its SSE Renewables business will work with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy to produce and deliver green hydrogen through electrolysis, using renewable energy from SSE’s 100 megawatt-plus Gordonbush onshore wind farm in Sutherland.

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Under the plans, green hydrogen would be produced by SSE Renewables at Gordonbush using Siemens Gamesa’s technology. The hydrogen could then be used as a clean alternative to petrol, diesel or natural gas to help decarbonise “hard-to-abate sectors” such as industry, transport and manufacturing, SSE added.

SSE Renewables and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy have unveiled plans to produce and deliver green hydrogen through electrolysis using renewable energy from the 100MW-plus Gordonbush onshore wind farm in Sutherland in the Scottish Highlands. Picture: SSE Renewables
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The move follows last year’s agreement between the two companies to explore opportunities to produce green hydrogen on co-located wind farm sites.

Hydrogen is seen as helping Scotland and the UK reach net zero carbon emission targets.

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Green hydrogen uses zero carbon electricity from renewable sources such as wind power to separate water into its component parts of oxygen and hydrogen in a process called electrolysis.

The hydrogen produced as a result can then be stored and distributed to potential transport, heating and manufacturing customers.

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The Gordonbush facility would be capable of producing up to 2,000 tonnes of green hydrogen each year using energy generated at the wind farm.

Annant Shah, director of strategy and route to market at SSE Renewables, said: “Green hydrogen produced from renewable sources such as wind energy has the potential to play a revolutionary role in decarbonising power production, heavy industry and transport, as part of our journey towards net zero emissions.

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“With this development at Gordonbush, we’ll be able to divert some of our abundant wind resource in the Highlands to begin production of a locally-sourced low carbon fuel for transport and heavy industry, develop a green hydrogen supply chain to support local job creation, and play our part in supporting Scotland’s emerging green hydrogen revolution.”

Paulina Hobbs of Siemens Gamesa added: “We believe that green hydrogen is an outstanding technology for transferring the benefits of renewables beyond the electricity sector.

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“Green electricity can be transformed into a transportation fuel, or used as feedstock in industrial processes, where currently no climate-neutral alternatives exist. It will play a crucial part in reaching our net-zero goal for 2045.”

Meanwhile, Edinburgh conference and events business Surgeons Quarter has announced that it is almost entirely powered by Scottish renewable sources, saving an estimated 790 tonnes of carbon per year.

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Surgeons Quarter - the commercial arm of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh - has formed a partnership with Glasgow-based utility company Eyebright Utilities to power its entire estate by wind and hydro technology sourced in Scotland.

Scott Mitchell, managing director of Surgeons Quarter, said: “In the midst of a period of increasing uncertainty around energy costs and supplies, Eyebright Utilities is continuing to help steer us through troubled waters, providing us with a futureproof utilities solution that reduces expenditure and our environmental impact.”

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