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Highland Council launches hydrogen purchasing system to help local authorities go green

By Calum MacLeod

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The new system should make it easier for public bodies to invest in hydrogen fuel infrastructure.
The new system should make it easier for public bodies to invest in hydrogen fuel infrastructure.

Highland Council is helping fellow local authorities take another step towards decarbonising by launching a new hydrogen generation and fuelling Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) to encourage the use of clean fuel vehicles.

The council has joined The Procurement Partnership Ltd (TPPL) to launch the first hydrogen DPS of its kind available for the public sector.

With the interest in hydrogen as a clean fuel for transport attracting strong interest up and down the UK, a number of councils are already taking action.

The new DPS is designed to provide a quick, compliant and simple system to help in procuring the latest low and zero carbon hydrogen infrastructure, and allow access to key suppliers at the forefront of hydrogen generation and fuel technology. The scope of the DPS covers a variety of temporary and permanent fuel options ranging from mobile refuelling systems, mini hydrogen dispensers, self-contained hydrogen refuelling units, on-site stored hydrogen containers, hydrogen refuelling stations and hydrogen production plants including regional hubs.

There are five categories: hydrogen generation and fuelling infrastructure; hydrogen vehicle fuel supply; electric vehicle charging infrastructure; recycling and repurposing of electric vehicle batteries; and supply of hydrogen for domestic and commercial purposes.

The Highland Council and TPPL partnership has been created as the UK accelerates a move towards zero emission vehicles as a result of the announcement of UK Government ambitions to launch a world-leading hydrogen economy.

This would see hydrogen could play an important role in decarbonising polluting, energy-intensive industries like chemicals, oil refineries, power and heavy transport like shipping, HGV lorries and trains, by 2030. The resulting UK-wide hydrogen economy could be worth £900 million and create over 9000 high-quality jobs by 2030, potentially rising to 100,000 jobs and worth up to £13 billion by 2050.

TPPL’s wider comprehensive procurement solutions are strategically being developed to facilitate the mass uptake of alternatively fuelled vehicles for public bodies. A key part of this initiative is the appointment of suppliers who are at the forefront of new generation hydrogen technology; in addition to support utilising TPPL’s industry knowledge and expertise.

Councillor Trish Robertson, who chairs Highland Council’s economy and infrastructure committee and climate change working group, said: “The Council recognises the enormous potential the emerging hydrogen economy is going to provide in terms of delivering net zero, and we’re delighted to be working with The Procurement Partnership to deliver a solution which will make this transition easier for public sector partners across the country.”

Keith Sergison, TPPL’s business development manager for Scotland commented: "This procurement solution is a major step forward in allowing public sector bodies to access a compliant and competitive route to market in support of the decarbonisation of their current vehicle fleets. Promotion of the UK Government's hydrogen strategy and the road to net zero has been a major influence in the decision to create this unique solution."

To find out more about the new DPS, please email enquiries@tppl.co.uk.

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