Mott MacDonald to design UK’s first proposed hydrogen village

Redcar's Locke Park. Around 2,000 nearby houses in the town could switch from natural gas to become the UK's first hydrogen village.

Mott MacDonald has been appointed to carry out a detailed design of the high-pressure hydrogen network for the UK’s first proposed hydrogen village in Redcar in the north-east.

Northern Gas Networks, which transports gas across the north-east, northern Cumbria and much of Yorkshire, first unveiled a proposal in May 2022 that would see the gas supply for around 2,000 homes and businesses in the seaside town switched from natural gas to low-carbon hydrogen in 2025.

The energy networks team at Mott MacDonald, will design the high-pressure hydrogen pipelines, above-ground storage, and pressure reduction site for the scheme. 

The firm is also designing the above-ground process facility that will inject hydrogen into a local salt cavity to provide long-term seasonal storage and security of supply.

Redcar sits within the east coast industrial cluster and close to established infrastructure, including hydrogen production and storage facilities. The proposal would see Redcar become self-sufficient, generating its own hydrogen locally, from renewable sources.

“Hydrogen must be a part of the future energy mix if the UK is to meet its net-zero objectives and we’re proud to be involved in such a pioneering project to demonstrate its feasibility as a green fuel to heat our homes,” said David Fulton, project manager and pipeline portfolio lead for Mott MacDonald.

“We must act now on the climate crisis and this can’t be done without decarbonising our heat network.”

The government’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is expected to make a final decision on whether the project will go ahead in 2023, once the detailed design has been completed. 

Northern Gas Networks estimates that, if approval is granted, hydrogen will be heating homes and businesses in Redcar in 2025.

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