Energy regulator Ofgem has awarded up to £18 million to gas network company SGN to build its H100 Fife hydrogen demonstration project.
It will take the Kingdom Fife one step closer to becoming home to the world’s first zero carbon hydrogen-to-homes network.
SGN will build its 100 per cent green hydrogen-to-homes network in Levenmouth, where up to 300 homes will be connected to the new network.
Hydrogen will be produced on site through electrolysis powered by an offshore wind turbine.
The hydrogen production, storage and a hydrogen appliance demonstration home will be built at Fife Energy Park, a site owned by Scottish Enterprise and leased by SGN for the project.
The new pipe network will run alongside the current natural gas system and customers will have the option to stay with natural gas or sign up to receive green hydrogen.
Construction is expected to get underway in early 2021 and eligible Levenmouth residents will be invited to get involved later next year.
The initial 300 customers joining the project will receive a free hydrogen connection, replacement hydrogen appliances and maintenance over the length of the project.
The appliances will connect to the existing pipes in their homes - so there will be no need to replace existing radiators or plumbing.
Households will also pay the same amount for hydrogen gas as they do today for natural gas.
Angus McIntosh, SGN’s director of energy futures, said: “We’re proud Fife can play such a vital role in leading Britain’s transition to a net zero energy system.
“Using hydrogen for heat could save energy customers across Britain billions of pounds as the energy system adapts to deliver net zero. Levenmouth residents will be at the centre of this energy revolution, as together we prove the existing gas network is able to deliver hydrogen, potentially reaching net zero with less cost and disruption than other zero carbon alternatives.”
The project has the backing of Fife Council.
In a joint statement, co-leaders, Councillors David Ross and Cllr David Alexander, said: “We are very pleased that SGN has successfully secured funding from Ofgem for what is a significant step forward towards Fife Energy Park in Methil hosting the world’s first 100 per cent hydrogen network for heating.
“We very much welcome the opportunities this project will bring to Fife, contributing to delivery of Climate Fife, by securing a reduction in carbon emissions while demonstrating a reliable supply of green hydrogen from offshore wind.”
They welcomed the boost to the local economy, adding: “The Levenmouth Reconnected Programme is also working in the area to create benefits for local people, businesses and visitors in line with the rail link extension.
“It is set to transform the River Leven and surrounding environment, tackling carbon emissions and adapting to climate change.
“Together these programmes will secure a bright future for the area, improve the economy, while creating more local jobs and a better environment.”