Edinburgh Airport has teamed up with Danish utility Orsted to set out plans to decarbonise the Scottish airport and produce emission-free aviation fuel, in part through the use of green hydrogen produced from offshore wind.

The two parties have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to map out steps to reduce the airport’s emissions and meet its net zero target by 2040.

The partnership is inspired by the ambitious Green Fuels for Denmark project, also led by Orsted, in which the utility, Copenhagen Airport, SAS airline, Maersk and others are cooperating to create a renewable hydrogen hub that plans to eventually produce e-fuels from 1.3GW of electrolyser capacity fed by offshore wind.

“We have made huge advances in technology and we want to continue to innovate and ensure aviation’s future is one that is decarbonised and contributes positively to our economy and Scotland’s net zero ambitions,” said Gordon Gewar, chief executive at Edinburgh Airport.

“Although aviation emissions derive in the main from aircraft in flight, we can play our part within our estate and fuel for aircraft at Edinburgh and we are confident this exciting partnership will help us on our way to a sustainable travel future and see Edinburgh Airport helping to develop and support sustainable fuels and their use.”

Although still at an early stage, the partnership aims at both cutting Edinburgh Airport’s energy emissions, those of aircraft filling aviation fuel there, as well as decarbonising vehicles used to operate the airport.

Edinburgh Airport said when fully scaled up, the cooperation with Orsted will see power sourced from offshore wind and renewable hydrogen produce 250,000 tons of e-kerosine and e-methanol per year as part of its effort to reach net zero by 2040.

Scotland, which itself has a 2045 net zero target, currently is leasing out large chunks off its coast for offshore wind in the ScotWind round, in which Orsted has entered bids alone or with partners that would provide more than 8.5GW of renewable power.

“Whilst we have made huge strides in decarbonising the way we generate electricity, the next stage is to use that renewable electricity to decarbonise industry and transport,” Orsted’s UK head Duncan Clark said.

“This will involve renewable energy companies collaborating with forward-looking companies such as Edinburgh Airport.

“Renewable hydrogen is key to decarbonising heavy transport and air-travel and look forward to working together on this exciting technology.”