SSE, Equinor plan Humber hydrogen power plant

Norwegian energy firm Equinor and Perth-based networks giant SSE plc have agreed a plan to jointly develop the world’s first 100% hydrogen-fuelled power plant in the UK.

SSE Thermal and Equinor unveiled their plans to jointly develop two “first-of-a-kind, low-carbon power stations” in the Humber region, including one of the UK’s first power stations with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, and the world’s “first major 100% hydrogen-fuelled” power station.

“The plans, underpinned by a new cooperation agreement between the two companies, would support the UK’s transition to net zero and accelerate the decarbonisation of the Humber, the UK’s largest and most carbon-intensive industrial cluster,” said SSE.

“The projects have the potential to create thousands of skilled, green jobs and revitalise a key industrial heartland.

“The two decarbonised power stations, which would form a ‘clean power hub’ near Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, would be among the first in the world to utilise CCS and hydrogen technologies.

“Keadby 3 and Keadby Hydrogen would replace older, carbon-intensive generation on the electricity grid, providing flexible and efficient power to support intermittent renewable generation and maintain security of supply through the net zero transition.

“These projects would also result in the Humber making a significant contribution to the UK’s 2030 targets for CCS and hydrogen.

“Keadby 3 could deliver 15% of the target for 10MT of carbon captured annually by 2030, while the demand from Keadby Hydrogen could account for a third of the 5GW hydrogen production goal.”

SSE Thermal CEO Stephen Wheeler said: “These projects would play a major role in decarbonising the UK’s flexible generation capacity, while supporting a green economic recovery in the Humber.

“By utilising cutting-edge carbon capture and hydrogen solutions, we can decarbonise power generation, heavy industry and hard-to-reach sectors of the economy, which will be essential in both achieving net zero emissions and ensuring a just transition for workers and communities.

“With over 12 million tonnes of annual carbon emissions, ideal transport and storage options, and major energy and industrial companies working together, the Humber has to be at the centre of the UK’s decarbonisation strategy.”

Grete Tveit, Senior Vice President for Low Carbon Solutions at Equinor, said: “These world-leading power plants at Keadby will accelerate efforts across the Humber to create a decarbonised industrial cluster, and contribute to the UK’s goals for a green industrial revolution and reaching net zero.

“They are a further step in Equinor’s ambitions for the Humber, following on from our H2H Saltend project that will start producing low-carbon hydrogen at scale by the mid-2020s.

“We believe these technologies are vital for heavy industry, flexible power and other hard-to-abate sectors to achieve net zero emissions, while also ensuring a just transition for industrial communities.

“We are committed to working together with stakeholders to accelerate these real-life projects and make these investments happen.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.