Toshiba Corporation will participate in the Levenmouth Community Energy Project in Fife, Scotland, a major 4-year project to investigate the potential of hydrogen as a future fuel. The project is funded by the Local Energy Challenge Fund, created in November 2014 by the Scottish Government. This marks Toshiba’s first hydrogen research project outside Japan.
The project will run from 2015 to 2020 in a redevelopment area of the Methil Docks in Methil, Fife, Scotland’s third largest council area. Electricity generated by wind and solar power will be used to power a hydrogen-producing water electrolysis system. The hydrogen will be stored and used as a fuel source for hybrid commercial vehicles (HCV) powered by fuel cells and diesel engines. Toshiba will join eight other organizations in the research, including Bright Green Hydrogen Ltd., a Fife-based nonprofit organization that promotes a hydrogen future, and Fife Council, the Fife local authority.
In the project, Toshiba will deploy its hydrogen energy management system (H2 EMS), which is designed for optimal production and storage of hydrogen based on electricity supply and demand forecasts. Toshiba will also handle overall system control, allowing it to collect operating data from the entire system, including the H2 EMS, water electrolysis systems and HCV, for utilization in future projects.
The Methil Docks site already has a 750kW wind turbine and 30kW water electrolysis system, and a 200kW solar photovoltaic power generation facility, 60kW and 250-kW water electrolysis systems, hydrogen storage tanks, hydrogen stations and fuel cells will be installed for the project. Renewable energy generated by the wind and solar power systems will be used to power the facility and also to electrolyze water to produce hydrogen. Stored hydrogen will be supplied to 25 HCV via hydrogen stations and also reconverted to electricity by fuel cells for use by the project’s facilities.
Scotland is promoting the use of wind and other renewable energy sources with a goal of generating the equivalent to 100% of electricity demand from renewable energy by 2020. Additionally, Fife Council is redeveloping Methil Docks, which flourished as a coal export port until the 1970s, and has invited the participation of private companies committed to renewables. Through the Levenmouth Community Energy Project, Fife aims to realize Scotland’s goal of local energy production for local consumption and to develop Methil as a clean community with zero carbon emissions.