EMEC to Store Tidal Power with Hydrogen-Based System

EMEC has procured an electrolyser to convert power generated at its tidal test site in Orkney to hydrogen fuel. The ground-breaking new project will pilot the storage of electricity from different forms of renewables, overcoming island grid constraints.

ITM Power, the energy storage and clean fuel company, has won a competitive tender to supply an integrated hydrogen system for use at EMEC’s tidal test site at the Fall of Warness, off Eday.

The system’s principal component is a 0.5MW ‘polymer electrolyte membrane’ (PEM) electrolyser with integrated compression and up to 500kg of storage. The total contracted value of the project is £1.79m.

The 0.5MW electrolyser will be used to absorb some of the excess power generated by the tidal turbines testing at EMEC. The hydrogen gas generated will be compressed and stored, with some of the gas being used in a hydrogen fuel cell to provide backup power to EMEC’s extensive data gathering and control systems.

The remainder of the hydrogen gas will be used off-site by a further project being developed separately – Orkney Surf and Turf – which plans to absorb output of a local community wind turbine operated by Eday Renewable Energy Ltd.

The electrolyser will be packaged in a standard 20’ and 10’ ISO container with hydrogen generation capacity up to 220kg/24hours.

Image: Aquatera

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