Designs in place for ‘pioneering’ green hydrogen heating project in Kintyre

Machrihanish Airbase Community Company Business Park and Campbeltown Airport. Photograph: RCAHMS.
Machrihanish Airbase Community Company Business Park and Campbeltown Airport. Photograph: RCAHMS.

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Global engineering and consulting company John Wood Group plc has delivered preliminary engineering design services for a ‘pioneering’ and ‘cutting edge’ green hydrogen demonstration project for residential heating at gas network operator SGN’s candidate site at Machrihanish.

Wood’s Hydrogen 100 (H100) project will initially aim to supply energy to 300 homes in Fife but SGN sees ‘significant potential’ for 100 per cent hydrogen networks in Machrihanish and Aberdeen, where Wood is headquartered, in the future.

On completion, this project would be the first of its kind to employ a direct supply of offshore wind renewable power to produce green hydrogen energy. When powered by renewable energy, the generation and burning of hydrogen produces no carbon, making it one of the most effective, scalable ways of providing heating while tackling climate change.

As part of its efforts to decarbonise the energy system and reduce emissions, SGN – which manages the network distributing natural gas to 5.9 million homes and businesses across Scotland and parts of southern England – is investigating the role hydrogen can play, and the H100 project is a key element of this.

Wood, whose chief executive officer is Campbeltown man Robin Watson, brought together a multi-disciplinary team from across its business including environmental planning, geographical mapping, visualisation, process and pipeline engineering, and renewables and hydrogen power experts to deliver a turnkey solution for SGN.

Joe Sczurko, chief executive officer of Wood’s Technical Consulting Solutions business, said: ‘As we continue to work with our clients on their energy transition journeys, we were delighted to partner with SGN to deliver its innovative plans to use clean fuels for domestic heating. This is a pioneering development which could make a significant contribution towards the decarbonisation of the UK’s heating sector and net zero carbon target by 2050.

‘Wood’s track record in the technology, production and the use of hydrogen is decades-long with a number of successful hydrogen projects delivered for clients around the world. Combined with our renewable and infrastructure expertise, we were well-positioned to support SGN with its ambitious H100 project at Machrihanish.’

Wood’s team secured planning consent, completed the technical feasibility study and provided preliminary engineering design for the candidate site.

Wood worked on the project in collaboration with Machrihanish Airbase Community Company (MACC) Business Park, which was considered as one of three possible sites to host the hydrogen production, storage and distribution infrastructure.

MACC chairman Cameron McNair told the Courier: ‘MACC is very happy to be involved in this cutting edge work. We believe this exciting new industry is as compelling as ever and will continue to do all we can over the next few years to secure this development for the benefit of Kintyre and surrounding areas.

‘MACC is keen to play a part in new initiatives that can improve sustainability as well as bringing vital development to the area.’