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EMEC generates world's first tidal-powered hydrogen

EBR Staff Writer Published 14 September 2017

European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) has generated first tidal-powered hydrogen, which will help to replace polluting fuels.

EMEC’s has generated green hydrogen gas at its test site located at the Fall of Warness in Eday of Orkney, which is situated to the north of the Scottish mainland.

Through using electricity generated from tidal energy in Orkney, EMEC has generated hydrogen gas, which is claimed to be the first tidal-powered hydrogen in the world.

The prototype tidal energy converters such as Scotrenewables’ SR2000 and Tocardo’s TFS and T2 turbines have been used to provide power into an electrolyser situated next to EMEC’s onshore substation.

Provided by ITM Power, the electrolyser is said to use the electricity to split water (H2O) into its component parts such as hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2).

Scottish Government provided £3m funding for EMEC to advance the research of hydrogen production capability.

Scottish business, innovation and energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “The Scottish Government is pleased to be supporting this innovative project which will help to partially overcome grid constraints in the Orkney Islands by enabling the storage of excess tidal power generated and using that electricity to produce hydrogen.”

EMEC managing director Neil Kermode said: “The electrolyser was set up to pilot the production of hydrogen fuel from tidal energy – and now we’ve done just that.

“This is a tremendous milestone for us and thanks must go to EMEC’s staff, the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, ITM Power and Bryan J Rendall Electrical for helping make this happen.”

Image: EMEC hydrogen storage cylinders. Photo: courtesy of Colin Keldie.