Toshiba to Participate in Levenmouth Community Energy Hydrogen Research Project in Scotland

Levenmouth Community Energy Project
Image courtesy of Local Energy Scotland.

Toshiba Corporation has announced that it will participate in the Levenmouth Community Energy Project in Fife, Scotland, a major 4-year project to investigate the potential of hydrogen as a future fuel. The project is funded by the Local Energy Challenge Fund, created in November 2014 by the Scottish Government.

The project will run from 2015 to 2020 in a redevelopment area of the Methil Docks in Methil, Fife, Scotland’s third largest council area. Electricity generated by wind and solar power will be used to power a hydrogen producing water electrolysis system, and the hydrogen will be stored and used as a fuel source for hybrid commercial vehicles (HCV) powered by fuel cells and diesel engines. Toshiba will join eight other organizations in the research, including Bright Green Hydrogen Ltd., a Fife-based nonprofit organization that promotes a hydrogen future, and Fife Council, the Fife local authority.

In the project, Toshiba will deploy its hydrogen energy management system (H2 EMS), which is designed for optimal production and storage of hydrogen based on electricity supply and demand forecasts. Toshiba will also handle overall system control, allowing it to collect operating data from the entire system, including the H2 EMS, water electrolysis systems and HCV, for utilization in future projects.

The Methil Docks site already has a 750kW wind turbine and 30kW water electrolysis system, and a 200kW solar photovoltaic power generation facility, 60kW and 250-kW water electrolysis systems, hydrogen storage tanks, hydrogen stations and fuel cells will be installed for the project. Renewable energy generated by the wind and solar power systems will be used to power the facility and also to electrolyze water to produce hydrogen. Stored hydrogen will be supplied to 25 HCV via hydrogen stations and also reconverted to electricity by fuel cells for use by the project’s facilities.

Scotland is promoting the use of wind and other renewable energy sources with a goal of generating the equivalent to 100% of electricity demand from renewable energy by 2020. Additionally, Fife Council is redeveloping Methil Docks, which flourished as a coal export port until the 1970s, and has invited the participation of private companies committed to renewables. Through the Levenmouth Community Energy Project, Fife aims to realize Scotland’s goal of local energy production for local consumption and to develop Methil as a clean community with zero carbon emissions.

The Toshiba Group provides a broad array of technologies for renewable power generation systems, water electrolysis systems and fuel cells, as well as hydrogen EMS for management and control. The Toshiba Group will continue to promote and take part in forward-looking initiatives in Japan and overseas, in order to realize a hydrogen society and thereby create a CO2-free, sustainable, safe and comfortable environment.

Overview of the Demonstration Project

1. Place: Methil, Fife
2. Period: April 2015 to March 2020
3. Steering companies and their roles

Toshiba: Hydrogen EMS and controls the overall system
Bright Green Hydrogen Ltd.: Overall project management
Fife Council: Project support and provision of some HCV

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This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.