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Orkney planners back green ammonia plant – reNews

Scottish company Eneus Energy has gained planning consent for a proposed green hydrogen/ammonia plant in Orkney, Scotland, which would be the first commercial facility of its kind in the UK.

The development, along with the proposed wind turbines extension at Hammars Hill, was approved by the Orkney Council Planning Committee at a meeting on 20 January, the company said.

Eneus said the plant, near Evie, will harness the renewable electricity generated by the wind turbines to produce hydrogen from water, and then combine the gas with nitrogen from the air to form ammonia.

The wind farm extension will see two 150-metre turbines built adding 8.4MW to the existing 4.5MW project.

Eneus Energy and Hammars Hill Energy have been assisted by Green Cat Renewables on the development, with the latter acting as planning agent for both parties.

Green Cat also provided technical support and project management services, producing the planning and technical assessments to support the planning application.

Eneus chief executive Chris Bronsdon said: “This marks a significant milestone in the commercialisation of green hydrogen and ammonia in the Orkney Islands and for Scotland.

“Converting green hydrogen to ammonia turns it into an easily stored and economically transportable zero carbon fuel for end-user markets.

“We look forward to working with our partners both on and off Orkney to deliver this project, showcasing the potential for commercial scale plants to begin to move forward.”

Hammars Hill Energy director Alistair Gray said: “The wind turbines will be owned and managed by Hammars Hill Energy, the owners of the existing Hammars Hill wind farm, and we are very pleased to have achieved planning consent for the two new turbines and associated hydrogen/ammonia plant.

“Covid-19 has changed things for us all, but if the UK is to deliver on its stated net-zero targets then it appears to me that the next decade will be critical if intent is to be turned into action.

“Orkney has some of the UK’s best renewable energy resources yet being at the end of the National Grid, the islands face significant challenges in grid capacity constraints and infrastructure developments, underpinned by an unhelpful regulatory and grid charging regime.

“Since the original project was built, the design and economics of wind turbines has evolved and in view of the risks associated with the proposed new transmission cable, and the delay and uncertainty over the conditions associated with the Ofgem ‘minded to decision’, the board of Hammars Hill have been considering a range of alternative strategies and believe that expansion of the existing wind farm together with the ammonia plant is an innovative example of the type of transformational project required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and deliver net zero.”

Green Cat director Gavin Catto said: “We are delighted to have secured consent for this innovative project. As we move through the energy transition and start to decarbonise the economy more deeply, we need to start thinking more widely about energy and how we capture and utilise it.

“This project that uses the abundant wind energy resource available on Orkney and converts it into a fuel that can be used to decarbonise heat and transport on the islands is going to be a key demonstration of how this transition can be achieved and we are delighted to be involved with this project.”

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