ITM Power announced funding from Innovate UK for a feasibility study to deploy a 100MW Power-to-Gas (P2G) energy storage project, “Project Centurion” at Runcorn, Cheshire, UK. This project explores the electrolytic production, pipeline transmission, salt cavern storage and gas grid injection of green hydrogen at an industrial scale. The feasibility study will explore the system design and costs and will assess the business case for deployment.
The vision for Project Centurion is to demonstrate a 100MW P2G energy storage system which can produce low carbon hydrogen for heat, decarbonization of industry, and transport fuel.
Once successfully demonstrated, such systems can make a significant contribution to the decarbonization of the electricity and gas networks, and by coupling these two networks together provide energy storage, allowing the UK energy system to accommodate increasing amounts of renewable energy, reducing curtailment and constraints.
As well as contributing to decarbonization, P2G systems can improve security of energy supply and improve the UK balance of payments by producing indigenous fuel offsetting the need to import fuel.
Project partners ITM Power, INOVYN, Storengy, Cadent and Element Energy wish to explore the feasibility of siting a 100MW Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyzer at the INOVYN Runcorn Site, which already produces hydrogen (used mainly on-site) as a co-product of the chlor-alkali process.
This site has an existing 420MW supergrid connection, power electronics and planning consent for industrial scale hydrogen production. The transport of hydrogen by pipeline to salt caverns near Lostock, where it can be stored pure or blended with natural gas, will be explored, along with the feasibility of injection into the local gas network. Other potential demands for the hydrogen will be assessed, including industrial and transport use which will support existing studies in the area, particularly Cadent’s HyNet NW.
The feasibility study is being supported by Innovate UK and the partners. It’s objectives are: to produce a 100MW system design with costs significantly below current targets; to build the consensus on P2G systems as an important part of a decarbonized energy system; and to produce the evidence base for raising financing for the project. The feasibility study outputs will be a 100MW system design, a business case and delivery plan for Project Centurion with a clear description of the next steps, and a dissemination campaign to increase understanding of, and interest in, P2G systems at a large scale.
Once built, Project Centurion will mark the first-time a P2G system injects hydrogen into the public gas network in the UK at scale. It will be the first time the electricity and gas system would be coupled in the UK to provide energy storage for excess electricity; and it will be the largest water to hydrogen electrolyzer system in the world (based on current deployments).
Existing projects such as HyDeploy make use of a private, isolated gas network, which is not possible at this scale. Project Centurion will build upon the work done in HyDeploy and the proposed HyDeploy 2 which if funded by Ofgem will develop the evidence base for transporting blended hydrogen through trials on two public gas networks on the North West and North East of England. The project will also develop a full deployment plan for hydrogen blending on the gas network.