Hydrogen is vital to tackling climate change

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We are delighted to announce that, as of early June, blending has resumed for the HyDeploy project at Keele University.

This was temporarily suspended when the Covid 19 lockdown was introduced.  We have now completed all necessary checks to ensure a safe operation and have resumed blending for our customers on the Keele University campus.

Unfortunately, site restrictions remain and we are therefore unable to offer tours of the project just now.  If this situation changes, we will update you here.

About HyDeploy

HyDeploy is a pioneering hydrogen energy project designed to help reduce UK CO2 emissions and reach the Government’s net zero target for 2050.

As the first ever live demonstration of hydrogen in homes, HyDeploy aims to prove that blending up to 20% volume of hydrogen with natural gas is a safe and greener alternative to the gas we use now.  It is  providing evidence on how customers don’t have to change their cooking or heating appliances to take the blend, which means less disruption and cost for them.  It is also confirming initial findings that customers don’t notice any difference when using the hydrogen blend.

First Phase

HyDeploy @ Keele is the first stage of this three stage programme. In November 2019, the UK Health & Safety Executive gave permission to run a live test of blended hydrogen and natural gas on part of the private gas network at Keele University campus in Staffordshire. HyDeploy is the first project in the UK to inject hydrogen into a natural gas network.

Second and Third Phases

Once the Keele stage has been completed, HyDeploy will move to a larger demonstration on a public network in the North East. After that, HyDeploy will have another large demonstration in the North West.  These are designed to test the blend across a range of networks and customers so that the evidence is representative of the UK as a whole. With HSE approval, and success at Keele, these phases will go ahead in the early 2020s.

The longer term goal

Once the evidence has been submitted to Government policy makers, we very much expect hydrogen to take its place alongside other forms of zero carbon energy in meeting the needs of the UK population.

What is happening now?

HyDeploy is progressing well.  The HSE gave the go ahead for a 10 month live demonstration, at Keele University, of blended hydrogen and natural gas which began in Autumn 2019. The HSE are satisfied that the blend of gas will be as safe as the gas we all currently use.  The hydrogen content will be up to 20% and has so far reached 15%.

The hydrogen production and blending units, along with other supporting equipment was installed at Keele and connected to the gas supply last Autumn.  Some of the elements within the hydrogen production compound are first of a kind and so we are monitoring their performance closely.

Second Phase : HyDeploy North East

For our North East demonstration, we are at the stage of contacting everyone who will be involved in that demonstration – more than 650 homes – and asking them to book a visit from our engineers who will carry out Gas Safe checks on their gas appliances and gather information on the range of appliances in the demonstration area. The Gas Safe checks will be free of charge.  Almost 90% of those homes have engaged with us.

Delivering HyDeploy

HyDeploy is being delivered by the HyDeploy consortium, led by Cadent.  The partners include Northern Gas Networks, Progressive Energy Ltd, Keele University, HSE – Science Division and ITM Power. The first HyDeploy live demonstration is being hosted on the Keele University campus in Staffordshire. It is a great example of networks and partners working together to achieve a common goal – the reduction of carbon emissions and improved air quality for the near future.

Gas safety webinar

A HyDeploy webinar for Gas Safe Engineers was recently hosted by Adam Madgett of Northern Gas Networks and Tommy Isaac from Progressive Energy.

Hydrogen Grid Entry Unit for HyDeploy Winlaton passes Factory acceptance test

The HyDeploy project has hit a key milestone in its journey to deliver the first public trial of blended hydrogen in the village of Winlaton, near Gateshead.