ITM Power has secured a £9.3m government award to accelerate the commercial deployment and manufacture of its five megawatt (MW) ‘Gigastack’ platform for producing green hydrogen.
Issued by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as part of the net zero innovation portfolio, the award will support the larger Gigatest project, and follows initial designs developed through previous BEIS funding competitions.
Based on the Humber, the Gigastack project aims to tackle regulatory, commercial, and technical challenges in green hydrogen production, and develop a blueprint for deploying scalable electrolyser technology across the UK.
Renewable power is produced at Ørsted’s Hornsea 2 wind farm then fed from a substation into an ITM Power PEM electrolyser to split water into oxygen and green Hydrogen. This is then moved to the Phillips 66 Humber refinery for use.
The new 5-MW platform is 2.5 times larger than ITM Power’s previous iteration and the latest funding round will see the technology undergo rigorous testing to validate performance through real-world conditions.
ITM says the newest generation has “multiple competitive advantages” including lower capital costs and a smaller system footprint, all of which should enhance the stack’s ability to operate flexibly.
Ultimately, the goal is for the 5MW system to enable the development of the larger, 100MW electrolyser systems required to meet the UK’s net zero target by 2050. These installations will come at a fraction of today’s cost, with the installed electrolyser system costing less than £400/kW, ITM says.
Another programme, Gigatest, will also support the deployment and validation of manufacturing equipment at ITM’s existing factory and the second, more automated facility on which construction commences later this year.
Under plans unveiled last year, ITM will build a £55m facility with the capacity to produce 1.5 gigawatts (GW) of electrolysers per annum and, under current timelines, will be fully operational by the end of 2023.
This will contribute to the subsequent initiation of “semi-automated mass-production” of electrolyser stacks.
ITM CEO Graham Cooley said: “The UK Government has put green hydrogen at the centre of its plans to achieve its legislated Net Zero targets. This was underlined by the recent doubling of green hydrogen to 5 GW in the Energy Strategy published last month.”
“Awards under competitions like this will ensure that the UK remains a world leader in energy transition technology and manufacture, creating jobs, new supply chains and valuable high-tech exports.”