Supported by the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council it is hoped that the scheme will help bus operators and heavy industry in the area to decarbonise their operations.
The project will be built on NGN’s decommissioned gas storage site of Bowling Back Lane in the heart of Bradford. It will deliver one of the UK’s largest low carbon hydrogen production facilities with a clear objective of using renewable energy to power an electrolyser which will produce clean hydrogen.
The site will also have on-site refuelling for hydrogen vehicles, EV charging, and a low carbon technology education centre. Residents and businesses in West Yorkshire will be able to use the refuelling facilities, with Ryze supplying hydrogen to transport and industrial users across the region.
A Bradford Council spokesperson said: “Bradford launched its Clean Air Zone (CAZ) on 26 September 2022 with an objective to reduce air pollution within the city. We believe that the CAZ will demonstrate the council’s commitment to improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions and will lay the foundations upon which low carbon projects in the city and the wider region could be built.
“It is therefore exciting for us to see one of the region’s largest companies developing this hydrogen hub through the Joint Venture with Hygen and Ryze, and we hope that the hydrogen hub will encourage energy users across the region to convert to low-cost, low carbon hydrogen as their energy source of the future.
“We have already introduced the Joint Venture to a number of potential hydrogen off-takers in the city and we hope to see them using locally produced hydrogen to decarbonise their operations for a generation.”
Gareth Mills, regulation and strategic planning director at NGN, said: “We are delighted to be working on this project with Hygen and Ryze.
“NGN has long been committed to supporting the role of hydrogen in the low carbon energy system of the future. Hydrogen has a key role in ensuring that customers continue to receive choice in the type of energy they use and for many in our region, provide a practical and cost-effective way to decarbonise their energy needs.
“We have deployed a number of demonstration projects across our network, including supplying 700 homes near Gateshead with blended hydrogen for heating and cooking.
“It is exciting for us to see one of our conventional gas storage sites that has been serving the people of Bradford since the early 20th century, now being converted into a hydrogen facility for the 21st century. I would like to say a particular thank you to Bradford Council whose ambition and vision for their region has allowed us collectively to develop the hydrogen hub concept.
“We know hydrogen can play a role in decarbonising all energy types including transport, and producing green hydrogen is central to this, so we’re really excited to work with Hygen and Ryze, with the support of Bradford Council to deliver such an exciting initiative.”
A complex project
Andrew Newman, managing director of Hygen, said: “We are very pleased to be working with Northern Gas Networks and Ryze on this first of a kind project. We believe that this project will not just produce low carbon hydrogen for Bradford and the surrounding area, but also sets an example how these complex projects can be delivered.
“The hydrogen economy of tomorrow cannot be delivered by companies working in isolation on their own projects. Success will require multiple stakeholders to come together to share their expertise to deliver the best possible projects. We very much hope that this project will be replicated in other cities across the UK. Ryze is poised to develop the hydrogen economy in the Bradford area, working with customers to decarbonise their businesses by supplying hydrogen directly to them.”
Grant funding opportunity
The Joint Venture also announced that grant funding may be available for energy users in the Bradford area wishing to convert to low carbon hydrogen produced by the project to decarbonise their operations. Funding will be prioritised to projects that have the greatest impact on reducing air pollution and/or carbon emissions.
Anyone interested in applying for such grant funding is encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org.