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Nigg and Scottish Power partner up to bring hyrdrogen power to Easter Ross port

By Calum MacLeod

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An aerial view of the Port of Nigg.
An aerial view of the Port of Nigg.

An increasingly important facility for the renewables sector, the Port of Nigg in Easter Ross is set to enhance its own green credentials by harnessing hydrogen power.

ScottishPower, through its recently launched Green Hydrogen Business, has signed an agreement with Global Energy Group at its Port of Nigg site to work together to identify processes and plant that could be powered by green hydrogen.

Green hydrogen will be generated at the Nigg site and used to power heavy plant, machinery and vehicles used in the daily operations at the site and to power high temperature, energy intensive processes like the manufacturing of offshore wind components.

Barry Carruthers, ScottishPower’s hydrogen director, said: “Green hydrogen provides a sustainable, scale-able, long-term energy solution and we are looking forward to working with Global Energy Group to develop and deliver green hydrogen for their operations.”

The adoption of green hydrogen – a process which uses energy from renewable sources to generate the electricity required to produce the hydrogen – would significantly reduce the carbon emissions at the site.

The UK’s only 100 per cent renewable integrated energy company, ScottishPower has made a commitment to helping the UK decarbonise and reach its net zero targets.

Mr Carruthers added: “Electrification is vital to helping the UK decarbonise, but, in order for us to reach our climate change targets, we need to start developing and delivering green hydrogen now to the places where electrification can’t reach.

“Over the next five years we need to see industries as whole, and individual companies, that can’t be powered by electricity alone following in Global Energy Group’s footsteps and taking the decision to adopt green hydrogen.”

The Port of Nigg has already supported the construction of two of Scotland’s largest offshore wind farms and was recently awarded the marshalling, storage and logistics base for Seagreen Offshore Wind Farm, a 1075MW offshore wind farm in the Firth of Forth.

It is expected to play a significant role in future offshore wind development as the UK aims to reach 40GW by 2030.

Global Energy Group chief executive Tim Cornelius commented: “In just under a decade we have invested over £90m into the Port of Nigg, transforming it into a first class, new age, multi energy sector facility. Now, as we work to further expand our site to help deliver the UK’s offshore wind ambition we need to look at what we can do to lower our own carbon emissions.

“Green hydrogen presents us with a major opportunity and we are thrilled to begin working with ScottishPower. The benefits go beyond lowering our own carbon emissions in our operations at Nigg, but also potentially gives us the ability to support the wider Cromarty Firth and Highland area with their operations and net zero targets.

“This agreement will be a pioneering project for ScottishPower, showcasing what green hydrogen can help an industry achieve.”

The announcement was welcomed by Scotland’s energy minister, Paul Wheelhouse,

He said: “Hydrogen has a potentially very important role to play in ensuring Scotland becomes a net-zero economy by 2045. Our abundant natural resources will support the establishment of a thriving hydrogen sector here, in Scotland, and in the emerging global hydrogen market.

“It is clear that hydrogen is not just an energy and emissions reduction opportunity; it could also have an important role in generating new economic growth for Scotland by creating new jobs, and supporting a just transition. This is why the Scottish Government is investing an additional £100 million over the next five years to help realise this potential.

“The pace of industry-led hydrogen projects in Scotland is accelerating and I am pleased that ScottishPower, through their recently launched Green Hydrogen Business, have signed an agreement with Global Energy Group at their Port of Nigg site to identify how green hydrogen would be generated at site.”

The partnership between ScottishPower and Global Energy Group will now begin a feasibility study to assess the full potential range of processes that could be supported by hydrogen and the most efficient and innovative way of delivering an end-to-end hydrogen production facility at the Port of Nigg.

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