The Kintore Hydrogen Hub will be located in Scotland. (Credit: Statera Energy)
Statera submitted an EIA Scoping Report of the project to the Aberdeenshire Council in September 2023. (Credit: Statera Energy)
The facility that will produce green hydrogen from water via electrolysis using renewable electricity. (Credit: Statera Energy)

Kintore Hydrogen Project in Scotland, the UK, is a proposed facility that will produce green hydrogen from water via electrolysis using renewable electricity.

With a 3GW total electrolyser capacity, Kintore Hydrogen will be one of the largest facilities of its type in Europe.

The project will be developed by Statera Energy, a UK-based developer of flexible energy generation and storage technologies.

The company submitted an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Scoping Report of the project to the Aberdeenshire Council in September 2023.

Statera plans to submit a planning application to the Aberdeenshire Council in 2024.

The Government of the UK selected Kintore Hydrogen in Net Zero Hydrogen Fund (NZHF) Strand 1 competition and supported the initial 500MW phase of development. It also provided funding for Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED), planning, and consent work.

The study is targeted to be completed in 2024, with Final Investment Decision (FID) expected to be taken in 2025.

The commencement of the construction of the project is anticipated in 2026 with full 3GW commissioning expected by early 2030s.

Initially, the project will provide green hydrogen for blending with natural gas in the existing high-pressure gas network and facilitate decarbonisation of industries that rely on gas fuel.

Eventually, the development will become a key source of hydrogen supply for National Grid Gas’ Project Union that will supply pure hydrogen to industrial clusters across the UK and long duration energy storages.

Kintore Hydrogen Hub Location and Site Details

The Kintore Hydrogen Hub will be located in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, the UK.

The land within the 172 hectares (ha) application boundary is divided into four parts- the main electrolysis plant site, the electrical substation from Kintore to the plant, the underground hydrogen export pipeline to the connection point at FM10 and/or FM24 natural gas pipelines, and the water abstraction and discharge point and underground water pipelines connecting River Don.

The electrolysis plant of the Kintore Hydrogen Hub will cover approximately 80ha area to the west of the existing Kintore Substation. The site will be approximately 2.8km southwest of Kintore in Aberdeenshire, 500m to the west of the B977 road, and 300m northwest of Leylodge.

The hydrogen export pipeline would run westwards and southwards from the electrolysis plant site to a connection point which will be around 1km southwest of the A96 road of Scotland and the Midmill Business Park. The pipeline will be 2.7km long.

The raw water pipeline corridor connecting River Don and the plant will have abstraction and discharge point on the south bank of Don off the Rushlach Road.

The water abstraction and discharge pipeline route will be around 7.8km long via agricultural land or 9.7km long if it is laid under minor public roads.

The electrolysis plant site can be accessed from the B977 road via a new junction and a private road to be developed.

Hydrogen Production

The Kintore Hydrogen Hub will be developed in multiple phases with the first phase providing 500MW of electrolyser capacity.

The remaining capacity could be developed in a single phase or several 500MW phases, subject to electricity supply agreement with the Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), market conditions, and the progress of Project Union.

Once fully operational, the project will generate 200k tonnes of green hydrogen per year.

The project will use electrolysis technology to convert the electricity generated via renewable projects into green hydrogen. The hub will supply green hydrogen to power-generating facilities and the most carbon-intensive industrial clusters of the UK through existing gas transmission pipelines.

The Kintore Hydrogen Hub will consist of an electrolyser plant, hydrogen export pipelines, electricity supply, and water supply and discharge pipelines.

The incoming high-voltage alternating current (AC) power will be converted to into lower voltage direct current (DC) power and then distributed to the electrolyser modules.

The electrolyser modules will use the demineralised water produced by a treatment plant and electricity to generate hydrogen and oxygen.

Hydrogen is then treated and separated to meet quality requirements and then compressed to reach the pressure level that will enable it to be injected into the high-pressure gas transmission network.

Oxygen is safely released to atmosphere.

Electrolysis Plant Infrastructure

The electrolysis plant of the project will house buildings with electrolyser cells, a hydrogen buffer storage and a scrubber (only for alkaline technology), nitrogen generation and storage facility, an electrical switchyard, a pipeline compressor building and associated facilities, a compressed air generation and storage facility, water treatment building and tanks among others.

The buildings would feature steel-framed and steel-clad structures.

The first phase will require two buildings. According to the EIA report, 12 buildings would be required for the project to achieve full 3GW capacity.

Construction works for the first phase is expected to be completed in around 18–24 months.

Power Supply

The Kintore Hydrogen Hub will receive power supply from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN)’s new 400kV bays at Kintore Substation.

The electrolysis plant will receive power from an external electrical switchyard consisting of six or seven 400/132kV transformers, busbars, and associated switchgear. The switchyard will supply high alternating current (AC) electricity from the 400kV underground cable grid connection to the plant buildings.

The switchyard will house additional 33kV and 6.6kV transformers to supply power during emergency on and off the site.

The power will be supplied from the Kintore substation through an underground cable. Currently, the substation is being expanded for the project by SSEN.

Contractors Involved

Savills prepared the EIA Scoping Report for the Kintore Hydrogen Hub.

Statera Energy awarded a FEED contract for the first phase of the project to engineering consultant Worley in October 2024. The contract work will be led from Worley’s Aberdeen office.