Octopus Energy’s recently formed green hydrogen leg today announced a partnership designed to inject major new UK capacity into the gas’ low carbon, renewably sourced variant.
Octopus Hydrogen, founded by CEO Will Rowe, has pledged the group’s Kraken software and other assets to ally with Innova Renewables and its sister Novus Renewable Services in making the gas variant at dispersed UK facilities.
The trio see dispersed co-location of green H2 manufacture and storage in the service of balancing the GB electricity grid as a national first.
Rowe’s entity will supply electrolysers in the 2 MW to 20 MW range, overseeing gas production at Innova’s sites. Mobile storage units will also feature.
Production sites pumping up to 2.5 tonnes per day of zero-carbon H2 will connect directly to users via long term PPAs.
Octopus Hydrogen’s optimisation software will calculate the best times to use green electricity in electrolysis, and when to export the gas, securing the most effective – and thus the best paid – balancing on the GB grid. Reduced curtailment by clients, as well as extending the viability of otherwise marginal projects, are also goals.
End-users for the renewably sourced gas will come from the transport and industrial sectors.
Published in August, the government’s hydrogen strategy seeks to boost UK capacity in the gas to 5GW by this decade’s end. Chris Jackson, government adviser and head of the Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Association, resigned the day before the strategy’s publication, dismayed at BEIS’s equal treatment of ‘blue’ hydrogen. Dubbed ‘an expensive distraction’ by Jackson, the oil industry’s favoured variant is made from climate-damaging methane, salvaged from fossil fuel extraction.
Of today’s initiative in low-carbon green hydrogen, Rowe declared, “This is an incredibly exciting step forward for Octopus Hydrogen”.
“Partnering with Innova and Novus will allow us to develop and establish our decentralised model for green hydrogen production in the UK.”
“Through this partnership we will increase the amount of green hydrogen available in the UK by approximately 25 tonnes per day, enough to decarbonise over 500 long haul HGVs.”
Set up in 2015, Innova develops and operates renewable energy hubs. It has over 40 sites in the UK under development with a combined solar and storage capacity in excess of 4GW, including more than 1.3GW of live ground mounted solar projects. It has engaged Ernst and Young to assist its £500 million fund-raising programme.
An Innova spin-off, planning and connection consultancy Novus claims more than 40 self-sourced projects under development, and together with Innova more than 4 GW of grid capacity secured in the UK.