Ecoisland Progresses: TSB Grant Awarded for Isle of Wight Integrated Hydrogen Project
18 Jul 2012
The Ecoisland project, which aims to demonstrate low-carbon technologies and sustainable communities on the Isle of Wight, today took a step forward with an infusion of funding in the form of a £4.66 million grant from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) for the building of a hydrogen energy system on the island, its integration into the power system and for a hydrogen vehicle refuelling system.
The project focuses on the integration of an electrolyser-based hydrogen refueller with the island’s renewable energies, allowing the electrolyser to demand-side manage the variable load of the renewables, storing excess energy as hydrogen fuel for vehicular use.
Leading the project is Sheffield-based electrolyser manufacturer ITM Power, who will receive £1.3 million of the grant funding directly with a further £1 million awarded to project partners for integrating equipment with ITM’s refuelling technology.
ITM will design and build two electrolyser refuellers with 100 kg per day (HFuel) and 15 kg per day (HFill) capacities to fuel a fleet of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) from Hyundai, Microcab and Riversimple as well as hydrogen internal combustion engine (HICE) vans and a Cheetah Marine HICE catamaran.
SSE will connect the systems to the grid to access the island’s renewables, Toshiba will contribute to the energy balancing of the network, IBM will handle refuelling payment facilities and Cable & Wireless will provide remote monitoring. Ecoisland CIC will assist in site surveying and planning; further project partners include the National Physical Laboratory, Arcola Energy and the Universities of Nottingham and Glamorgan.
The Ecoisland project was officially launched at the House of Commons in November 2011 and eventually aims to position the Isle of Wight as a net energy exporter by 2020 via the utilisation of its abundant renewable resources, their integration into a smart grid with hydrogen load-balancing that facilitates clean transportation.