The UK’s first commercial-scale hydrogen production and refuelling facility powered by solar energy has been opened.
Located at Honda’s UK manufacturing site on the outskirts of Swindon, the new facility has been integrated into the existing hydrogen refuelling station which opened in September 2011.
The consortium – which includes BOC, Commercial Group, Swindon Borough Council, Fuel Cell System and Briggs Equipment and Revolve as well as Honda – said the new plant will now produce “commercial volumes of truly ‘green’ hydrogen produced from solar power, by electrolysis, at the point of use”.
It will also provide fuel to a hydrogen-powered Education Centre on the site as well as refuel the first hybrid vans running on sustainable biodiesel and hydrogen in commercial operation.
Nick Rolf, BOC’s Innovation Manager – Hydrogen systems said: “No other facility in the UK has the capacity to refuel vehicles with ‘green‘ high purity hydrogen on a commercial scale and this now cements Swindon’s position as the key location for fuel cell vehicle introduction.”
Earlier this month the UK Government announced a £11 million fund to install a network of 15 hydrogen filling stations across the country by the end of next year.