Surf 'n' Turf - hydrogen as part of Orkney's energy future
An innovative new community project in Orkney will see excess electricity generated from clean sources turned into hydrogen for fuel on land and sea.
Surf ‘n’ Turf will see a range of local partners work together to tackle the issue of grid limitations in Orkney, and could be the first step towards a number of exciting projects to help cement the reputation of the islands as a leading light in the renewable energy sector.
What’s it all about?
Orkney continues to be at the forefront of the renewable energy industry with the annual electricity production in the islands exceeding local use in recent years. But this brings challenges in itself. The capacity of the Orkney electricity grid to export power has reached its limit. This means green energy created in the islands is being wasted.
Surf ‘n’ Turf aims to avoid current grid limitations by generating hydrogen from wind and tidal energy. That would be used to set up a low carbon hydrogen supply chain for community projects and to satisfy local demand.
How will it work?
The seas around the island of Eday are at the centre of Orkney’s tidal energy industry. Surf ‘n’ Turf will see power generated by devices at EMEC’s tidal testing site at the Fall of Warness - and from the island’s community-owned wind turbine - sent to an electrolyser.
The hydrogen created during this process will then be collected and shipped to a fuel cell in Kirkwall which will convert it back to electricity. This will then be used to power Orkney’s inter island ferries while they are berthed at the pier, the local marina and harbour buildings.
What are the benefits?
Surf ‘n’ Turf will help avoid grid capacity issues by ensuring both EMEC and Eday Renewable Energy can fully utilise the electricity they produce. Orkney Islands Council will also be able to use clean power at a reliable cost with reduced energy bills.
The project will also reinforce Orkney’s reputation for clean technology innovation and could lead to new schemes in the future, using vessels and vehicles that run on fuel sourced here in the islands.
Who is involved?
The project is being backed by nearly £1.5m of support from the Scottish Government’s Local Energy Challenge Fund.
When will it all happen?
The electrolyser in Eday produced the world’s first tidal-powered hydrogen in August 2017. The fuel cell at Kirkwall Pier was unveiled on the 27th of September 2017, with the Surf 'n' Turf hydrogen community energy project officially launched by the Scottish Government's Business, Innovation & Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse.
Watch this short video from Community Energy Scotland to see how it all works.
Find out more via the official Surf n Turf website.