Pale Blue Dot Energy, the project developer behind Acorn CCS and Acorn Hydrogen, has been awarded funding from the second phase of the UK Government’s Hydrogen Supply Competition.
The award will support 13 months of engineering studies to progress the technical and commercial plans for the Acorn Hydrogen project at the St Fergus gas terminal. This first phase will establish the technology to convert some of the natural gas at the St Fergus gas terminal in North East Scotland into hydrogen – a clean burning fuel.
In the UK, around half of all our energy is used for heat. The majority of this is provided by burning natural gas, which results in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Replacing some or all of this natural gas by blending hydrogen into the National Transmission System (NTS) will help reduce CO2 emissions. The CO2 emissions that are created from converting natural gas to hydrogen at St Fergus will all be captured and permanently stored using the Acorn carbon capture and storage (CCS) infrastructure that is on track to be operating at St Fergus from 2024.
Sam Gommersall, Pale Blue Dot Energy Commercial Director said:
Acorn Hydrogen is a hugely exciting project that is a critical step for Scotland and the UK to reach its ambitious climate change targets. We are working extremely hard, alongside our project study partners: Chrysaor, Shell and Total, to progress this important component of the wider Acorn initiatives, in the aim that Acorn Hydrogen’s first injection of hydrogen into the gas grid is in 2025. Blending as little as 2% hydrogen into the National Transmission System would remove 400,000 tonnes of CO2 per year from the energy system, and that is just the starting point with an ambition to decarbonise all the natural gas flowing through St Fergus.
Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, Kwasi Kwarteng, said:
Hydrogen offers the opportunity of a cleaner, greener fuel for heating our homes and getting us from A to B. The innovative Acorn project is a clear step in that direction – particularly in this year of climate action.
Detailed design work on Acorn CCS is already underway, and with this earlier stage design on the first phase of Acorn Hydrogen now started, Acorn is on track to establish critical infrastructure in the mid-2020s ahead of then significantly expanding both Acorn CCS and Acorn Hydrogen, delivering a serious contribution to UK and Scottish Net Zero targets.
(Text and graphics from Pale Blue Dot Energy press release, 18 February 2020)
SCCS was part of the international ACT Acorn project led by Pale Blue Dot, which provided findings from five key areas of research; namely, just transition, infrastructure reuse, unlocking underground CO2 storage, life cycle assessment and options for building out from the initial Acorn CCS project.