ITM Power will receive 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 world-class project explores the electrolytic production, pipeline transmission, salt cavern storage and gas grid injection of green hydrogen (H2) 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 H2 for heat, decarbonisation of industry, and transport fuel.
Once successfully demonstrated, such systems can make a significant contribution to the decarbonisation 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 decarbonisation, 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) electrolyser at the INOVYN Runcorn Site, which already produces H2 (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 H2 production. The transport of H2 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 H2 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 decarbonised 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 be a world-class innovation project: it will be the first time a P2G system injects H2 into the public gas network in the UK at scale; 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 H2 electrolyser 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 H2 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 H2 blending on the gas network.
Dr. Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM Power said, “Project Centurion is an ambitious project with an important consortium of industrial partners that share a world class vision of power-to-gas energy storage. The project explores green H2 production, pipeline transmission, salt cavern storage and gas grid injection at an industrial scale and will assess the business case for deployment.”
Catherine Gras, Managing Director of Storengy UK, added, “Power to gas energy storage is key to decarbonise European energy systems. We firmly believe H2 is a promising solution and a project like Centurion will allow us to identify the conditions under which such a project could be developed in the future.
Richard Stevenson, Project Manager of INOVYN, commented, “This is an exciting project building on our extensive experience of large scale electrolysis, generating and handling H2, together with expansion of our gas storage operations into new areas.”