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Ellesmere Port hydrogen village project moves a step closer

Net Zero Cheshire West and Chester Ellesmere Port 02/09/2022

Proposal to convert 2,000 homes to use hydrogen

A project to create the UK’s first carbon-reducing ‘hydrogen village’ in Ellesmere Port has reached a major milestone.

Cadent and British Gas are proposing to convert around 2,000 homes in the Whitby area of the town from using natural gas (methane) to hydrogen.

This would be a UK first – a village-size population receiving hydrogen through the existing underground gas distribution network.

Details were first announced in May.

Unlike natural gas, hydrogen produces no carbon emissions when burned in a boiler to heat properties and provide hot water.

As part of the project, qualified engineers need to visit every property to carry out an assessment.

The team has just completed its 100th assessment. This was at the home of Robin Thornhill.

Mr Thornhill said: “From what we’ve heard about this so far, this is a really exciting project to be part of. We’re looking forward to helping make it happen.”

Marc Clarke, Head of Hydrogen Consumer, Cadent, said: “We’ve had a massive amount of interest from the local community since we announced our plan only a few months ago and that’s really encouraging for everyone involved.

“As we build the case for Whitby to be the UK first, we need to visit every property to get a clear picture of what the existing gas infrastructure looks like. We’ve just finished our 100th assessment, just a matter of weeks after starting.

“If you live in the Whitby area and haven’t yet booked your assessment, please either call us on 0800 035 3371 or email and we will make the arrangements to send our engineers out to you.

“This is free – and, while they are there, they will also carry out a thorough safety check of all your gas appliances, your boiler and other equipment.”

This area of Whitby is one of two locations hoping to be the UK-first. The other is in North East England. A decision will be made next year, with the chosen location starting to receive a hydrogen supply in 2025.

Hydrogen will be supplied through the existing network of gas pipes. If this area of Whitby in Ellesmere Port is chosen, every property in the selected area will get free boiler upgrades to new hydrogen-ready versions. This means residents would continue using boilers and appliances they are familiar with today.

Find out more about the project