Contract awarded for hydrogen refuse trucks

The Local Energy Challenge Fund project at Levenmouth has reached one of it's key milestones today after Fife Council awarded a contract worth around £1.5million for the supply of nine refuse collection vehicles.

Two of the vehicles are to be converted to run on diesel and hydrogen which is believed to be a world-first of their kind. They will  become part of the Levenmouth Community Energy Project, a pioneering development that aims to position the region as a global leader in clean energy through developing the Hydrogen Office in Methil into a world-class demonstrator of hydrogen applications generated from renewable sources.

Residents in the wider Fife region will also benefit from Council’s contract award to Inverkeithing-based company, Heil Farid, as the fleet of nine vehicles mean quieter refuse collections. This is because they are fitted with technology that significantly reduces noise as well as improves fuel efficiency during loading and packing.

Tom Henderson, at Fife Council, said:

The partners behind Levenmouth Community Energy Project, which is led by Bright Green Hydrogen and includes Fife Council as one of the consortium members, today welcomed the news by saying it represented a key step forward for the development.

George Archibald, chief executive at Bright Green Hydrogen said: “As part of the partners’ vision for the project, Levenmouth will become home to one of Europe’s largest fleet of hydrogen dual-fuel vehicles (25) and this includes the refuse collection vehicles. Therefore, this is a sign of real progress especially when you consider that it was only three months ago that the project was kick started thanks to the award of Government funding.

“Hydrogen vehicles are the latest form of technology deployed in the effort to decarbonise the use of energy in Scotland with the only emission occurring from these vehicles being water vapour. Hydrogen refuelling has been installed in London, Swindon and Aberdeen but the Levenmouth project involves developing the largest concentration of vehicles in the UK. As a result, it is pivotal to putting the region on the global, clean energy map.”

Among other hydrogen dual-fuel vehicles that will be included in the Levenmouth scheme are 10 Ford Transits, 10 Renault Kangoo vans while hydrogen refuelling to be installed at both the Hydrogen Office and at Fife Council’s vehicle depot at Bankhead in Glenrothes.

Levenmouth Community Energy Project is expected to bring significant economic benefits to the area and is widely considered as a valuable demonstration of how hydrogen can decarbonise heating applications in Scotland and help secure future energy supplies for generations to come.

Along with Bright Green Hydrogen and Fife Council, the project partners also comprise Toshiba, Leven Valley Development Trust; Fife College; BOC (for hydrogen transport); Green Business Fife; Community Energy Scotland; and the Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (SHFCA). The scheme promotes the potential of storing surplus renewable energy as hydrogen for a range of on-demand applications that require reliable, quiet clean energy sources.

For Toshiba, the scheme is the first hydrogen development outwith Japan that the company has become involved with and will see the company implement the hydrogen energy management scheme at site by providing the overarching control system, which will control the operation of the scheme, as well as seeking opportunities to build upon project learning. 

Hydrogen will be stored at the Methil site and reconverted to electricity at times when onsite wind and solar generation is low. This will help offset the intermittency of renewable generation and as a result, improve the business park’s ability to be energy self-sufficient. In addition, this approach will demonstrate how more renewable energy can be connected to the grid nationally by alleviating the network export constraints that are becoming all too common in areas such as Scotland in times of peak renewable generation.

The refuse trucks will become part of Europe's largest fleet of hydrogen dual-fuel vehicles