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Surf ‘n’ Turf hydrogen fuel cell unveiled in Orkney

Surf n Turf project. Credit: Colin Keldie / EMEC

The newly installed hydrogen fuel cell was launched at Kirkwall Pier.

Surf ‘n’ Turf is led by nationwide charity Community Energy Scotland, working with project partners EMEC (the European Marine Energy Centre), Orkney Islands Council, Eday Renewable Energy, and ITM Power.

The fuel cell is the final aspect of the hydrogen generation system being developed in Orkney: a pilot project looking to circumvent local grid constraints by generating hydrogen from tidal and wind energy.

Other elements of the system include an electrolyser which has been installed at EMEC’s tidal test site on the island of Eday. It produced the world’s first tidal-powered hydrogen in August this year.

Once produced, hydrogen will be stored and transported to Kirkwall where the fuel cell will convert it back into electricity for use by the inter-island ferries whilst berthed at the pier.

Surf ‘n’ Turf’s hydrogen is a clean fuel that causes no carbon emissions, and has many potential uses – including to supply electricity, as a transport fuel for vehicles or ships, for heating, or to make fertiliser.

A key aspect of the project is the development of educational facilities, run by Orkney College UHI, to skill up the local community in hydrogen handling and attract trainees from other countries.

The Surf ’n’ Turf project has received £1.3m of Scottish Government funding through the CARES programme and Local Energy Challenge Fund.

Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, said:

“I enjoyed what was a fascinating visit to the Surf n’ Turf facilities at Kirkwall Harbour to see how the project in developing, utilising electricity from Eday, and to discuss its potential to go even further, through the BIG HIT project, in further establishing and growing Orkney’s hydrogen economy.

“Hydrogen itself and hydrogen fuel cells both have huge potential in Scotland’s low-carbon energy system and we have already supported a number of world-leading hydrogen demonstration projects.

“Hydrogen energy technologies are in the early stages of development in Scotland but there is growing global awareness of their potential in the decarbonisation of heat, industry and transport. We are actively considering what role hydrogen can play in Scotland’s future energy system as part of the Scottish Energy Strategy, and projects like Surf ‘n’ Turf have a very important role to play in informing that work.”

Source: European Marine Energy Centre


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