Energy storage and clean fuel company ITM Power has won a £1 million grant from the Welsh Government to kick start the development of hydrogen refuelling stations in Wales.
The Sheffield company is already working on building England’s first commercial refuelling station on South Yorkshire’s Advanced Manufacturing Park, close to the M1.
The stations will be used to refuel cars and commercial vehicles that run on hydrogen, instead of petrol or diesel.
News of the grant came as ITM delivered a Power-to-Gas plant to the Thüga Group in Frankfurt on time and on budget. ITM’s Power-to-Gas technology takes electricity generated by renewable sources and passes it through water in a device known as an electrolyser to liberate hydrogen.
The hydrogen can be stored, injected into domestic and commercial gas supplies or used to run fuel cell-powered electric vehicles – FCEVs – in which a fuel cell recombines hydrogen with oxygen from the air to generate electricity.
ITM will use the Welsh grant to set up a subsidiary in Cardiff, called ITM Motive, which could lead to development of an electrolyser assembly plant.
The new plant delivered to Thüga is the first in a £4.5m pipeline of orders ITM has won.
Thüga is the largest network of energy companies in Germany and comprises around 100 community owned utility companies.
It will use ITM’s equipment to generate hydrogen from renewable sources and inject it into the German gas grid.
Phil Doran, managing director of ITM’s German subsidiary, said: “It is marvellous to see the plant on site here in Frankfurt.”
Meanwhile, ITM Power has started manufacturing a new design of modular hydrogen generator, capable of producing up to 80 kilogrammes of hydrogen a day.
The modular design allows refuelling stations to increase capacity as demand rises and the first is due to be installed on the Isle of Wight as part of the £4.45 million Eco-Island project.