ScottishPower has applied for government backing to support plans for a 100 megawatt (MW) green hydrogen plant at the Port of Felixstowe on the Suffolk coast.
The utility and energy developer, part of Spanish energy giant Iberdrola, has submitted an application to the government’s Net Zero Hydrogen Fund (NZHF) seeking support for the project, according to reports by The Guardian on Monday.
Worth up to £240 million, the NZHF will fund the development and deployment of new low carbon hydrogen production to de-risk investment and reduce lifetime project costs.
The 100MW plant would provide fuel to power around 1,300 hydrogen trucks at the port, coming online some time in 2026.
The company has estimated the project could cost between £100m and £150m.
ScottishPower has said demand for the fuel had grown in the wake of rising petrol and diesel prices, prompting its investment commitments.
The electrolyser facility will be “around the size of a football pitch” and built on brownfield land within the site.
The fuel could also be used to power trains used for rail freight into the port, and even shipping vessels, should demand and supply prove sufficient.
Owned and operated by Hutchison Ports, Felixstowe handles more than 4 million TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) and welcomes approximately 2,000 ships each year.
It also provides some of the deepest water close to the open sea of any European port. Around 17 shipping lines operate from Felixstowe, offering 33 services to and from over 700 ports around the world.
ScottishPower hydrogen director, Barry Carruthers, told the Guardian: “The strength of demand from the port itself, logistics and distribution companies and rail freight companies has given use the confidence to press ahead with this facility. This is a big, industrial scale project that we’re doing at pace.
“The cost of hydrogen is now comparable with diesel so this can be cheaper and cleaner for customers. The market has given us a really good glide path.”
Mr Carruthers also suggested the site could be used to produced green ammonia.
The group is already building another 20MW electrolyser at Whitelee, the onshore windfarm near Glasgow, with ITM Power. Due online next year, the facility is expected to produce up to 8 tonnes of green hydrogen a day.
The project secured nearly £10m in government backing last year.
Meanwhile Iberdrola recently inaugurated a €150 million solar-powered hydrogen plant in Puertollano, central Spain, which it says is the largest plant currently operating in the world.