The largest hydrogen fuel cell installation in the UK has arrived at the under-construction Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC).
The cells, which will deliver clean, sustainable and reliable energy for the £333million new facility, will have a total electrical output of 1.4MW, which is on a par with the largest fuel cell installations in Europe.
UK energy engineering specialist Doosan Babcock has supplied three cells which will provide an independent source of dependable, affordable, low-emission heat and power for the 150-acre site.
It is claimed the move reinforces Aberdeen’s status as Europe’s Energy Capital as well as underlining the city’s commitment to rebalancing the economy with a focus on energy transition.
In doing so, it diversifies the city’s energy mix beyond a complete reliance on fossil fuels.
Aberdeen City Council co-Leader councillor Jenny Laing said: “The arrival of the hydrogen fuel cells at the new AECC is another great step forward for the development and is part of our ongoing commitment to use green technologies at the site.
“The fuel cells are building on Aberdeen City Council’s Hydrogen Strategy and enhances the city’s reputation for energy innovation including renewable and low carbon energy.”
Nick Harris, Scottish Director at development partner Henry Boot said: “The energy centre is just one example of how this flagship project is harnessing the latest technology to ensure the new AECC will be one of the most outstanding, modern and sustainable venues in the UK.
“The energy centre is a hybrid combined cooling, heating and power (CCHP) installation, which will provide the venue and hotels with heat, power and cooling, while delivering greater efficiency and environmental benefits.”
Derek Shewan, Chief Operating Officer for Robertson Group, the main contractor delivering the new AECC, said: “The energy centre provides the new facility with incredibly strong green credentials.
“The construction works are coming along nicely with the ground slabs already poured and the pre-cast wall panels complete. With the fuel cells now installed, the roofing and cladding are continuing apace.”
The new exhibition and conference centre for Aberdeen and the north east will generate 600 new jobs during the construction period and 352 full-time-equivalent permanent positions by year 10 of operations, and is a key element of Aberdeen City Council’s Strategic Infrastructure Plan to grow and bolster the local economy.
It will anchor existing international events and compete nationally and internationally for new events, as well as by broadening the appeal of the north east to a global audience.
Over the next 10 years, the new AECC is expected to attract major artists and events to the city, and contribute an additional 4.5 million visitors, £113 million of visitor spend and £63m net GVA to the Scottish economy.
Due to open in 2019, the new venue situated beside Aberdeen International Airport will provide four times the exhibition space available at the current AECC, and increase the maximum capacity to 12,500 in the arena.