Renewables developer Iberdrola has unveiled plans to wire its 540MW Whitelee wind plant in the Scottish Highlands together with a solar array, battery facility and the UK’s largest electrolyser to create a new giant hydrogen production complex.

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The project – a planning application for which has been submitted by the Spanish utility through its ScottishPower subsidiary with gases giant BOC and electrolysis pioneer ITM Power – would encompass 40MW of PV, a 50MW battery and a 20MW electrolyser, sited near Whitelee, one of Europe’s largest wind power projects.

“The submission marks an important step for Green Hydrogen for Scotland [the project partnership formed by ScottishPower, BOC and ITM], to create green H2 production facilities with clusters of refuelling stations across Scotland,” said ScottishPower hydrogen director Barry Carrruthers.

“Whitelee keeps breaking barriers, first the UK’s largest onshore windfarm, and soon to be home to the UK’s largest electrolyser. The site has played a vital role in helping the UK to decarbonise and we look forward to delivering another vital form of zero-carbon energy generation at the site to help… Scotland achieve its net zero goals.”

Carruthers added: “Green hydrogen has a vital role to play in the wider UK journey to net zero emissions providing a sustainable energy source that can provide clean, renewable energy for industries, heavy transport and companies for decades to come.”

The Whitelee-connected project, which will produce some 8 tonnes of H2 per day, will also be to Green Hydrogen for Glasgow, a scheme to deliver carbon-free transport for the Scottish city, as well as meeting growing industrial hydrogen demand in the region.

ITM Power CEO Graham Cooley stated: “This is an exciting milestone based on market development for green hydrogen for the city of Glasgow, that will see the UK’s largest electrolyser deployment to date being realised in Scotland.”

BOC hydrogen market development manager for clean fuels Mark Griffin said: “The scale of this project demonstrates the growing demand for clean hydrogen and as a member of the Green Hydrogen for Scotland partnership.”

ScottishPower expects a decision on the planning application “in autumn 2021”, with the project being switched-on in 2023.