News has been thick and fast on hydrogen this month with two positive announcements on the delivery of blended hydrogen (20% vol.) and natural gas for domestic gas consumers through the HyDeploy programme. HyDeploy directly informs HyNet North West by providing the evidence that blended hydrogen and natural gas can be delivered to customers safely and without any changes to their appliances.
Earlier this month, the first live trial of the blended gas was approved the UK Health & Safety Executive. This will go ahead from 2019 on a private gas network at Keele University covering over 130 homes and buildings. The approval comes after a phase of customer engagement, laboratory and field testing of gas appliances. HyDeploy@Keele will be the first trial of its kind in the UK to inject hydrogen into an existing natural gas network.
Funding has also been granted by the energy regulator Ofgem to start work on HyDeploy2, which will plan larger trials on public gas networks. £14.9m will fund two field trials in the North of England, with around 750 homes in each trial area.
The aim is to build support for a much wider roll-out including via HyNet NW. If adopted across the UK, using hydrogen like this could save the same amount of carbon as taking 2.5 million cars off the road. A major benefit of this blending approach is that it comes with no disruption to customers – they do not need to change their gas appliances or the pipes to their homes.
The HyDeploy programme is backed by the north of England’s two gas distribution networks – Cadent and Northern Gas Networks, along with other consortium partners including Progressive Energy, who are leading Phase 1 of HyNet NW.