BP has unveiled plans for what could be one of the UK’s largest green hydrogen facilities as it builds out its vision for turning Teesside into a national hub for hydrogen production.
The energy major is looking to build 60 MW of green hydrogen capacity by 2025 at a site called HyGreen Teesside, with the potential to expand it to 500 MW by 2030. That would be in addition to the 1 GW of blue hydrogen capacity BP is set to build under the name H2Teesside.
The green hydrogen – produced using electrolysis – will be used to supply a network of UK refuelling stations. The first 60 MW will produce enough hydrogen to keep a fleet of about 1,300 large trucks on the road.
Together, BP’s two Teesside projects represent about 30% of the UK government’s target of 5 GW of clean hydrogen production by the end of the decade.
Developing the UK’s hydrogen economy involves a delicate balancing act of matching supply and demand as both rapidly ramp up over the coming years. Expect more projects like these where hydrogen production is matched to a specific source of demand.
A similar logic could be seen in the agreement by construction giant JCB and Ryze to import millions of tonnes of green hydrogen produced around the world by Australian mining group Fortescue Future Industries. The fuel will help supply the hydrogen-powered construction equipment produced JCB and buses being produced by Wrightbus, ensuring their customers can always fill up.
BP’s commitment to the UK’s hydrogen supply chain represents another significant boost for a burgeoning ecosystem that is drawing investment from all quarters.
BP has a large and growing portfolio of renewable energy assets with a target of 50 GW globally by 2030. In and around the UK, that includes a 50% stake in a 3 GW offshore wind project in the Irish Sea that is expected to begin production later this decade, and a similar-sized investment offshore Scotland.
Those assets will allow it to power its own green hydrogen production rather than drawing energy from the grid, which remains a mix of gas and renewables.
These investments are also creating jobs. BP’s investment in Scotland includes support for a skills capability accelerator developed by energy consultancy Xodus, which will provide on-the-job project experience and classroom learning. As well as creating entry-level roles, it will reskill hundreds of oil and gas workers for roles within the renewable energy sector.
The emerging Teesside hydrogen energy hub, backed by £3 million of government funds, is expected to eventually create 5,000 new jobs alone.
For more about Ryze Hydrogen click here.