Gas distributor Northern Gas Networks (NGN) has partnered with clean energy pioneers Hygen Energy Holdings (Hygen) and Ryze Hydrogen to work on an ambitious low-carbon hydrogen production and dispensing facility in the heart of Bradford.
NGN, the gas distributor for the North East, Cumbria and much of Yorkshire, is carrying out the project in a Joint Venture with the two companies, which are, respectively, the hydrogen production and distribution businesses established by clean energy pioneer Jo Bamford.
The companies will build the project on NGN’s decommissioned gas storage site of Bowling Back Lane in the heart of Bradford. It will deliver one of the UK’s largest low-carbon hydrogen production facilities with a clear objective of using renewable energy to power an electrolyser which will produce clean hydrogen. The site will also have on-site refuelling for hydrogen vehicles, EV charging, and a low-carbon technology education centre. Residents and businesses in West Yorkshire will be able to use the refuelling facilities, with Ryze supplying hydrogen to transport and industrial users across the region.
Low-carbon projects for the region
A Bradford Council spokesperson said: ‘Bradford launched its Clean Air Zone (CAZ) on 26 September 2022 intending to reduce air pollution within the city. The CAZ will demonstrate the council’s commitment to improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions. It will lay the foundations for building low-carbon projects in the city and the wider region.
‘It is exciting to see one of the region’s largest companies developing this hydrogen hub through the Joint Venture with Hygen and Ryze. The hydrogen hub will encourage energy users across the region to convert to low-cost, low-carbon hydrogen as their future energy source. We have already introduced the Joint Venture to several potential hydrogen off-takers in the city. We hope to see them using locally produced hydrogen to decarbonise their operations for a generation.’
Committed to hydrogen
Gareth Mills, Regulation and Strategic Planning Director at NGN, said: ‘We are delighted to be working on this project with Hygen and Ryze. NGN has long been committed to supporting the role of hydrogen in the low-carbon energy system of the future. Hydrogen has a crucial role in ensuring that customers continue to receive choices in the type of energy they use and, for many in our region, provides a practical and cost-effective way to decarbonise their energy needs. We have deployed several demonstration projects across our network, including supplying 700 homes near Gateshead with blended hydrogen for heating and cooking.
‘It is exciting to see one of our conventional gas storage sites that has been serving the people of Bradford since the early 20th century, now being converted into a hydrogen facility for the 21st century. A special thank you to Bradford Council, whose ambition and vision for their region have allowed us to collectively develop the hydrogen hub concept.
‘We know hydrogen can play a role in decarbonising all energy types, including transport, and producing green hydrogen is central to this, so we’re excited to work with Hygen and Ryze, with the support of Bradford Council, to deliver such an exciting initiative.’
Andrew Newman, Managing Director of Hygen, said: ‘We are delighted to be working with Northern Gas Networks and Ryze on this first-of-a-kind project. This project will produce low-carbon hydrogen for Bradford and the surrounding area and set an example of how we can deliver these complex projects.
‘The hydrogen economy of tomorrow cannot be delivered by companies working in isolation on their projects. Success will require multiple stakeholders to share their expertise to deliver the best possible projects. We hope this project will be replicated in other cities across the UK. Ryze is poised to develop the hydrogen economy in the Bradford area, working with customers to decarbonise their businesses by supplying hydrogen directly to them.’
The Joint Venture also announced that grant funding might be available for energy users in the Bradford area wishing to convert to low-carbon hydrogen produced by the project to decarbonise their operations. Funding will be prioritised for projects that have the most significant impact on reducing air pollution and carbon emissions. Anyone interested in applying for such grant funding is encouraged to email [email protected].