By Kristy Dorsey

The companies behind proposals for a new £45 million hydrogen production hub in central Scotland have confirmed the location of the facility, which is expected to be partially up and running before next year’s delayed COP26 convention in Glasgow. 

The plant is being developed by Scottish energy company Hy2Go, and will be located at Lesmahagow in Lanarkshire. Work is expected to start early next year after Ryse Hydrogen, run by industrialist and JCB heir Jo Bamford, agreed to a “significant offtake” of fuel once production begins.

The 51-acre site will have its own wind turbines and solar panels that will feed a 9MW electrolyser to extract hydrogen from water, meaning the entire process is completed without any carbon emissions. There will be capacity to increase the electrolyser size to 20MW in a second phase of expansion, taking initial production from 800,000kg of hydrogen per year to one million kg per annum.

At the top end of production, this would be the equivalent of removing 7,500 cars from Scotland’s roads every year.

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In addition to Ryse, Mr Bamford also owns Wrightbus, creators of what are claimed are the world’s first hydrogen double deckers. The first of these were launched onto the streets of Aberdeen last month.

Hy2Go chairman Brendan Flood said he is “excited” about the Glasgow project.

“With the fleet of Wrightbuses on the streets of Aberdeen, and Glasgow already in possession of a fleet of hydrogen-powered gritters with refuse trucks on their way, the need for Scotland to produce its own green hydrogen is clear,” he said.

The confirmation follows the announcement of a similar project in September, in which ScottishPower, BOC and ITM Power will join forces to build a 10MW hydrogen production facility near Whitelee Windfarm. Planning permission on those proposals is expected to be submitted within the next few months, with supply to the commercial market within the next two years.

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Mr Bamford said the plans by Ryse and Hy2Go provide the “inspirational prospect” of Scottish-made hydrogen being used to transport COP26 delegates around Glasgow.

“This would be an ideal demonstration to the world that Scotland is perfectly placed to be a world-leader in hydrogen production because of its abundance of wind and water, which are the two ingredients you need to make hydrogen,” he said.

The project is expected to create 16 jobs during the construction of the facility, with a further 16 permanent jobs thereafter.