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Isle of Wight hydrogen refuelling sites win planning approval

In the UK, ITM Power reports that planning permission has been granted in the Isle of Wight for all five hydrogen refuelling sites for which planning applications were submitted. ITM has chosen two of these sites to take forward for installation of hydrogen refuellers, ready for operation in November.

Hydrogen energy storage company ITM Power has been granted planning permission for an 80 kg/day hydrogen refuelling station at four locations, and at one for a 15 kg/day marine refuelling station.

ITM will take forward two of these sites for installation of hydrogen refuellers ready for operation in November, as part of the EcoIsland Hydrogen Vehicle Refueller project. The initiative is supported by funding from the Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency.

Site plans

The approvals process involved several stages, including the identification of candidate sites prior to conducting a detailed survey, preparation of plans together with a Design and Access Planning Statement, and liaison with stakeholders including the Isle of Wight Council and the national Environment Agency.

The survey sites are owned by wind turbine manufacturer Vestas (one at its R&D centre at Stag Lane, and another at Monks Brook); one operated by Scotia Gas Networks in East Cowes; and one at the St Cross Business Park in Newport. The marine refueller is to be sited on the dockside at Cheetah Marine in Ventnor.

ITM Power has decided to proceed with the site owned by Scotia Gas Networks, providing an opportunity to further develop commercial links with SGN.

Planning permission, codes & standards

ITM Power sits on three Working Groups of the ISO Technical Committee 197, whose scope is standardisation of systems and devices for the production, storage, transport, measurement, and use of hydrogen. ITM Power also sits on the British Compressed Gas Association's Technical Steering Committees with particular emphasis on Code of Practice 41, which addresses ‘The Design, Construction, Maintenance and Operation of Filling Stations Providing Gaseous Fuels.’

‘The expertise required to achieve planning permission and satisfy compliance bodies is often underestimated,’ comments Dr Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM Power. ‘The continued support from the Isle of Wight Council and their determination to become a prime location for hydrogen fuel cell vehicle deployment provides a fantastic backdrop to this exciting project.’

EcoIsland project continues

The EcoIsland Partnership Community Interest Company (CIC) went into liquidation last October, as a fraud investigation was launched into funding that was unaccounted for. Shortly afterwards its founder and CEO, David Green, was found dead in an apparent suicide.

To keep the project going, ITM and the consortium members subsequently reallocated the remaining grant funding and activities to design, build, install, and operate two ITM Power grid-connected hydrogen refuelling platforms. These will serve a fleet of hydrogen vehicles, including fuel cell cars from Hyundai and Microcab, hydrogen internal combustion engine (HICE) Ford Transit vans, and a HICE powered boat.

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