The UK’s first commercial scale solar-powered hydrogen production and refuelling facility has been launched. The opening was marked by a demonstration of ‘green’ hydrogen production and low carbon hydrogen transport in action. Designed and commissioned by the consortium that includes BOC and Honda, the new state-of-the-art facility is located at Honda UK’s manufacturing site on the outskirts of Swindon.
The event was a celebration of several significant ‘firsts’:
- In a UK first, this enhanced facility will produce commercial volumes of truly ‘green’ hydrogen produced from solar power, by electrolysis, at the point of use.
- The station will employ BOC’s filling technology to serve a range of uses including the world’s first hybrid vans running on sustainable biodiesel and hydrogen, the UK’s first hydrogen powered fork-lift trucks – and even a hydrogen-powered Education Centre on the site.
The new facility has been integrated into the existing hydrogen refuelling station, which opened in September 2011. It is hoped that this facility will be a benchmark for other refuelling stations to follow as well as reinforce the UK’s attractiveness as a location for major car manufacturers to roll out fuel cell vehicles and encourage the growth of a national refuelling infrastructure.
The Consortium, which comprises BOC, Honda, Commercial Group, Swindon Borough Council, Fuel Cell Systems, Briggs Equipment and Revolve, worked together to secure funding from the Technology Strategy Board (now the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK) and to design and commission the facility, highlighting the UK’s leadership in environmental technologies using hydrogen, a low carbon energy source that offers energy security, employment opportunities and economic growth.
(Source: Honda UK)