Bright Green Hydrogen
Located at Methil Docks Business Park, Bright Green Hydrogen set up a system, which operates a 750kW wind turbine that distributes electricity through an on-site mini-grid to different buildings in the business park. Excess electricity is either sold to the national grid (from where electricity can also be bought into the system) or fed into an electrolyser which produces hydrogen by splitting water (H2O) into hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2). The hydrogen is stored in a tank and fed into a hydrogen fuel cell when additional electricity is required. There the fuel cell combines hydrogen and oxygen (from the air) and so produces electricity with water as a by-product.
A control system automatically diverts 30kW of excess wind energy to the electrolyser when the wind turbine runs at an average of 80kW over 10 minutes or more and cuts the electrolyser off when the output drops below this. In turn, the fuel cell kicks in during business hours when the wind turbine produces less than an average of 10kW over 10 minutes and automatically switches off when output rises over this threshold.
The fuel cell is also connected to a public electric vehicle charging station which is used by Fife Shopping & Support Services (FS&SS), a non-profit company that provides shopping and pension collection services to local people who are frail or disabled.
Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “The Hydrogen Office and FS&SS are playing a vital role in demonstrating the link between Scotland’s renewable energy resources and the role that fuel cells and energy storage can play in low carbon Scotland.” *
Legal structure & set-up
Bright Green Hydrogen is one of three trading bodies of Business Partnership, a company limited by guarantee. Fife Shopping & Support Services is a limited company by guarantee, registered with a charitable status. A verbal agreement allows FS&SS to charge their van for free.
The £450,000 (€560,000) of funding required for the hydrogen storage and a further £1.6 million (€2 million) for the wind turbine came through grants from a variety of sources including the European Regional Development Fund, Scottish Enterprise and Business Partnership Ltd.
FS&SS secured grant funding through the Scottish Governments’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) and were the first organisation in Scotland to do so for the purchase of an electric vehicle. In addition to nearly £14,000 (€17,500) CARES funding FS&SS received support from Fife Council and BRAG Enterprises. It is estimated that the electric vehicle will save the charity £1,500 (€1,900) per annum.
- Securing funding
- Due to decline of services in the Methil area and lack of electric charging points in areas with higher FS&SS service uptake the van was out of operation for parts of 2013/2014
- Cost savings for community transport service
- Linking renewable electricity generation with storage and sustainable transport
* Ross, D. (2011) Pioneering wind-powered van helping pensioners. The Herald, 30 September.
Methil Docks Business Park, Fife
Size of Community
Social enterprise and potentially other local organisations and indvidiuals
Type of Energy Project
Community transport, storage and wind power
Stage of Development
The Hydrogen Office and FS&SS are playing a vital role in demonstrating the link between Scotland’s renewable energy resources and the role that fuel cells and energy storage can play in low carbon Scotland.
Fergus Ewing - Scottish Energy Minister
Hydrogen Office ltd moves to Methil site
FS&SS is incorporated
Energy infrastructure is complete
Electric van arrives
“Hydrogen Office Ltd” becomes Bright Green Hydrogen
Van is moved to FS&SS HQ in Glenrothes
Electric van is planned to return to Methil