Two green hydrogen projects in Scotland have been awarded funding in the UK Government’s first “hydrogen allocation round”.

ScottishPower’s planned 10-megawatt project at Whitelee wind farm near Glasgow has won funding.

The other Scottish project to win funding, at the Beinn Tharsuinn wind farm site at Cromarty in the Highlands, also involves ScottishPower, in partnership with independent decarbonisation developer Storegga.

The hydrogen from both projects will be used to provide a zero-carbon fuel for high-temperature industrial processes, such as whisky production, and to replace diesel fuel for heavy transport, ScottishPower said.

The company added: “Following a potential two-year construction period, ScottishPower aims to start producing green hydrogen at both Whitelee and Cromarty.”

READ MORE:  Ian McConnell: Prestwick Airport and ferry joy amid Tory gloom

Green hydrogen uses renewable energy to power an electrolyser, which splits water into its two core elements, hydrogen and oxygen.

ScottishPower noted: “The hydrogen can then be easily stored and transported to where it’s required. The zero-emission fuel complements efforts to electrify, by providing a decarbonisation alternative to sectors and industries where electrification is not viable.”

READ MORE: Pubs group selling pints for £2.50 or less opens in two new Scottish locations

It added: “The announcement of funding support for the first wave of large-scale green hydrogen facilities is an important milestone in the creation of a British commercial green hydrogen market, critical to decarbonising the UK economy.

“Green hydrogen is a vital technology, in particular to help decarbonise heavy industry and hard to abate sectors. As this important industry develops, the UK’s huge opportunity in renewable energy offers the scope to become a leader in the field of green hydrogen production.”

READ  MORE: Ian McConnell: Brexiters' appetite for destruction as German overture spurned

Peter Jones, director of ScottishPower’s green hydrogen business, said: “The first wave of production facilities like Whitelee and Cromarty will demonstrate that zero-emission hydrogen can be delivered at commercial scale and drive the development of a viable market for the green fuel.

“It will also create highly skilled green jobs across the UK and quickly support a world-leading supply chain. It’s early days for this burgeoning market and government support is to be welcomed to help deliver a future green hydrogen economy.”

Storegga said the Cromarty hydrogen project would employ around 170 people during construction and create around 30 high-skilled jobs in the first phase, “with more to follow as the project expands and develops”.

The company noted the site would supply green hydrogen to the local whisky distilling sector, enabling it to switch from fossil fuels “in line with its own ambitions and targets”.

Storegga said the first phase of the Cromarty project would produce close to 5,500 kg of green hydrogen every day.

It added: “With its abundant natural resources and strategic positioning, Scotland possesses immense potential for renewable energy, making it a frontrunner in pioneering sustainable energy solutions in the race to net zero.

“Cromarty Hydrogen will not only aid in decarbonising Scottish industry but will also help to kick-start the hydrogen economy in the north of Scotland, which aligns seamlessly with the Scottish Government’s hydrogen action plan, the broader national strategy encompassing the creation of 14 regional hydrogen hubs and associated hydrogen use.”

In all, 11 projects with a total of 125MW of capacity across the UK won funding in the Government’s allocation round.

The UK Government noted InchDairnie Distillery in Glenrothes planned to "run a boiler on 100% hydrogen for use in its distilling process".

Perth-based SSE expressed disappointment that its hydrogen projects had "were not successful" in the first allocation round.

However, it added: "We welcome this critical step towards a hydrogen economy.  As outlined in the Government’s updated hydrogen strategy, this must now be supported by the development of hydrogen transport and storage infrastructure."

SSE added: "Following negotiations, two green hydrogen projects from SSE were not selected for support at this stage. Aldbrough Hydrogen Pathfinder [in North Yorkshire], which seeks to unite hydrogen production, storage and power generation, and Gordonbush Hydrogen [near Brora in the Highlands] - which would demonstrate the value in co-locating hydrogen production with wind - will continue to be developed by SSE and will have further opportunities to seek support."