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Shropshire’s potential for hydrogen vehicle refuelling hub

Shropshire could become one of a handful of West Midlands locations to have a hydrogen refuelling hub to power low carbon vehicles of the future.

As part of its drive to reduce its carbon emissions to zero by 2030, Shropshire Council is now exploring whether it can set up a hydrogen refuelling centre on the outskirts of Shrewsbury for commercial vehicles.

The site, which would use electricity generated from council-contracted waste operator Veolia’s Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) at Battlefield to turn rainwater into hydrogen and oxygen.

The Battlefield ERF converts residual waste unsuitable for recycling and composting into heat and power, and has significantly reduced the amount of waste the county sends to landfill, generating enough energy to power 10,000 homes.

The hydrogen produced would then fuel commercial vehicles such as lorries and buses, helping to dramatically reduce emissions from such vehicles.

Shrewsbury, because of its location next to the A5 international transport corridor, has been identified as one of the region’s top 10 sites for hydrogen refuelling facilities.

The council is now starting to investigate the feasibility of such a facility in Shropshire, and a group including Ian Nellins, Cabinet member lead on climate change, and Dean Carroll, Cabinet member for physical infrastructure, have visited one of the region’s first such facilities at Tyseley in Birmingham.

This has just started fuelling around 20 hydrogen powered double decker buses serving the city, but could power up to 40 such vehicles.

The council is working jointly with other organisations in the Midlands as part of a Government-funded project to explore opportunities to establish green hydrogen manufacture and refuelling facilities for commercial vehicles.

Ian Nellins said:

Shrewsbury could be a great location for such a facility to power what is predicted to be a major growth sector in transport, particularly for commercial vehicles and indeed the council’s own vehicle fleet in future.

“The visit has given us much food for thought, and we’re now looking at if the idea for a hydrogen hub could work, and further help keep the county moving with as low a carbon footprint as possible.

 

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