Hydrogen on the horizon: NGN and Cadent gear up for village trial

The gas companies have submitted proposals for a hydrogen heating village trial to convert a large village to hydrogen or an alternative heating solution instead of natural gas

Northern Gas Networks (NGN) and Cadent have submitted detailed designs for a hydrogen village trial to the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and Ofgem.

The project will trial the conversion of existing gas network infrastructure in the local area, repurposing it for 100% hydrogen or alternative heating solutions instead of natural gas. 

The trial is part of the government‘s efforts to decarbonise the heating of buildings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The government has identified low carbon hydrogen as a potential strategic option for decarbonising heat in buildings and intends to make policy decisions in 2026 on what role hydrogen should play in this process.

The hydrogen village trial will provide essential evidence for those decisions.

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and Ofgem issued an open letter to the four Gas Distribution Networks (GDNs) in May 2022, setting out the expected requirements for GDN applications for funding for the next stages of the village trial.

The proposals received were detailed design proposals for a hydrogen heating village trial from Cadent and NGN.

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero is currently reviewing the proposals and will announce its decision on the trial location later this year.

The government has said the hydrogen village trial is set to convert a sizeable village of approximately 1,000-2,000 properties to hydrogen or other sustainable heating solutions instead of natural gas.

Officials have confirmed that safety will be paramount during the hydrogen heating trials.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will conduct a thorough evaluation to ensure that hydrogen is safely stored, distributed and used, just as with natural gas.

Only after receiving the HSE’s seal of approval will the community trial commence.

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