Wales & West Utilities feeds biogas with 1% hydrogen into the grid

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Wales & West Utilities (W&W) has received the green light to feed biogas with up to 1% hydrogen into its gas network in Swindon.

For the first time, the Health & Safety Executive has approved the use of natural gas with a high hydrogen content in the national network.

W&W is working with ABSL, which will feed bio-natural gas (Bio-SNG) into the existing gas network at its plant in Swindon. This will immediately reduce the CO2 emissions of almost 2,500 local households by up to 5,000 tons.

The Bio-SNG produced in the plant will have a hydrogen content of up to 1% hydrogen, which required an exception to the standard requirements. The plant is scheduled to start feeding Bio-SNG into the grid in October.

This latest development builds on W & W’s commitment to preparing the gas network for the transport of green gases such as hydrogen and biomethane. Earlier this year, the company partnered with the rest of the UK gas network companies under the Energy Networks Association’s plan – the UK Hydrogen Network Plan – which details the activities to help realize the UK’s hydrogen ambitions. The plan envisages feeding up to 20% hydrogen into local gas networks by 2023 and converting villages to 100% hydrogen by 2025.

Sarah Williams, director of regulation and asset strategy at W&W Utilities, said the company was “pleased” to receive permission from HSE to begin injecting 1% hydrogen.

“This will help reduce carbon emissions from local households today without affecting our customers or their devices,” said Williams. “This is another important step in demonstrating the use of the UK’s existing safe and reliable gas network to transport hydrogen.

“The 2020s must be a decade of delivery where we put into practice the research and development work we’ve done on hydrogen. This project will help support ambitious plans across the UK to convert villages to hydrogen, help heavy industry decarbonise and meet government aspirations for hydrogen for home heating. “


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