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18/09/2020

Hydrogen energy project wins planning permission

Words: Huw Morris
Hydrogen-energy-scheme-(photo-credit-GeoPura-Siemens-Energy).jpg

A planning application for a hydrogen energy project in Nottinghamshire, expected to be one of the first in the UK, has been approved by Newark and Sherwood District Council.

The proposal, submitted by CA Strawson Farming Ltd, will see the project located at Featherstone House Farm in the village of Bilsthorpe.

Consultancy Fisher German advised and secured permission for the scheme.

The scheme is a new approach in generating fuel for sustainable and renewable sources, taking the UK a step towards carbon-neutral energy production.

The project involves a 1.25MW electrolyser powered by solar systems and a wind turbine. This will be able to turn water into green hydrogen, which once turned back into electricity through a fuel cell emits only water vapour and air.

The development is in line with the government’s Clean Growth Strategy, which seeks to promote new technologies for generating clean power and fuel while cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Fisher German said that with no specific planning policies for hydrogen energy schemes in place, it had to create a robust submission that tackled issues such as ecology, archaeology and drainage upfront while highlighting its environmental credentials.
“This is a new area of technology and only a handful of planning applications have been approved for schemes of this nature,” said Fisher German partner Sarah DeRenzy-Tomson.

“The development appears industrial in character and appearance, which is not normally appropriate in an open countryside setting.

“However, the merits of locating the facility adjacent to the point at which the electricity was being generated by the solar and wind farm was understood by the local authority.

“The district council also recognised the environmental benefits of the scheme as the government looks to move towards a low-carbon future and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 per cent by 2050 when compared to 1990 levels.

“There is a clear drive to boost production and use of hydrogen for energy and once implemented, this scheme will make an important contribution towards this goal.

“We expect these schemes to become increasingly popular in the coming years to support targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Image credit | GeoPura-Siemens-Energy

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