£1.5m fleet of hydrogen-powered trucks roll up for Levenmouth Community Energy Project

Levenmouth project hydrogen projectBy DARA BUTTERFIELD

An innovative green hydrogen project in Levenmouth has marked a major milestone after Fife Council awarded a contract worth around £1.5million for the supply of nine ‘green’ refuse-collection lorries.

Two of the vehicles are to be converted to run on diesel and hydrogen which is believed to be a world-first of their kind.

They will also become part of Levenmouth Community Energy Project, a pioneering development that aims to position the region as a global leader in clean energy through developing the Hydrogen Office in Methil into a world-class demonstrator of hydrogen applications generated from renewable sources.

The vehicles are to be fitted with power take offs and dual-fuel technology that increases fuel efficiency while reducing noise. This means that Fife residents will benefit from improved air quality and lower noise pollution.

The partners behind Levenmouth Community Energy Project, which is led by Bright Green Hydrogen and includes Toshiba as one of the consortium members, say this represents a key step forward for the development.

For Toshiba, the scheme is the most complex hydrogen project outside Japan to date that the company has become involved with and will see the company implement the hydrogen energy management scheme at site by providing the overarching control system, which will control the operation of the scheme, as well as enhance project learning. 

George Archibald, Chief Executive, Bright Green Hydrogen, said: “As part of the partners’ vision for the project, Levenmouth will become home to one of Europe’s largest fleet of hydrogen dual-fuel vehicles and this includes the refuse collection vehicles. Therefore, this is a sign of real progress especially when you consider that it was only three months ago that the project was kick started thanks to the award of Government funding.

“Hydrogen vehicles are the latest form of technology deployed in the effort to decarbonise the use of energy in Scotland with the only emission occurring from these vehicles being water vapour.

“Hydrogen refuelling has been installed in London, Swindon and Aberdeen but the Levenmouth project involves developing the largest concentration of vehicles in the UK. As a result, it is pivotal to putting the region on the global, clean energy map.”

Among other hydrogen dual-fuel vehicles that will be included in Levenmouth Community Energy Project are 10 Ford Transits, 10 Renault Kangoo vans while hydrogen refuelling pumps will be installed at both the Hydrogen Office and at the cooncil’s vehicle depot in Glenrothes.

Levenmouth Community Energy Project is expected to bring significant economic benefits to the area and is widely considered as a valuable demonstration of how hydrogen can decarbonise heating applications in Scotland and help secure future energy supplies for generations to come.

Hydrogen is to be stored at the Methil site and reconverted to electricity at times when on-site wind and solar generation is low.

This will help offset the intermittency of renewable generation and as a result, improve the business park’s ability to be energy self-sufficient. In addition, this approach will demonstrate how more renewable energy can be connected to the grid nationally by alleviating the network export constraints that are becoming all too common in areas such as Scotland in times of peak renewable generation.

Pictured above is one of the Levenmouth Community Energy Project trucks which will be converted to run on hydrogen as well as diesel. The dual-fuel technology allows an introduction to hydrogen fuel without incurring the high costs of hydrogen fuel cell which runs on 100% hydrogen. It can also operate in diesel-only mode if there is an interruption to the hydrogen supply.

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