May 17, 2020

Harnessing the Power of Biomass in the Midwest

energy digital
biomass in the Midwest
Midwest biomass
Ren
Admin
2 min
Wisconsin is a leader in energy from dairy farms
According to a new report released by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the Midwest's abundance of farms can help the region drastically proc...

 

According to a new report released by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the Midwest's abundance of farms can help the region drastically procure more energy from waste streams, including grease and oil from restaurants, leftover corn cobs and crops or manure from dairy farms.

"Cellulosic biofuels represent a potentially substantial economic opportunity for the Midwest and could also have a larger impact on the U.S. energy supply mix," the report says. “While some forms of renewable energy sources—such as wind, solar, and geothermal—have not reached desired economies of scale in the Midwest, the abundance of agricultural and forestry biomass residuals in the region could provide new opportunities for economic development, energy security, and environmental conservation.”

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As a national leader in the production of energy from dairy farms, Wisconsin's initiatives help local farmers deal with waste and pollution. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), New York and Pennsylvania are catching up. Farmers are realizing the cost-saving benefits of digesting manure vs the expensive alternative of sending waste to a landfill and wastewater to treatment plants.

To take off, however, the industry will require financing from banks to cover the premiums of renewable electricity from digesters in order to create more demand. Incentives across the state that would encourage utilities to buy power from digesters will also help. Furthermore, the state is looking into creating a program similar to Vermont's “Cow Power” program, in which customers agree to pay extra to ensure their energy is coming straight from their local dairy farm.

"The Midwest has an opportunity to harness the biomass residuals as a new source of energy and, in so doing, set an example for future energy initiatives that will hopefully someday be a feature of broader U.S. energy policy discussions," said Rachel Bronson, vice president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Stephen Brick, a senior fellow at the council, will present findings of the report on biomass energy opportunities today in Madison, Wisconsin.

 

 

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Apr 12, 2021

ScottishPower submits plans for UK's largest electrolyser

Hydrogen
Renewables
scotland
UK
Dominic Ellis
3 min
The 20MW electrolyser will be the key component of a green hydrogen facility close to ScottishPower’s Whitelee windfarm
The 20MW electrolyser will be the key component of a green hydrogen facility close to ScottishPower’s Whitelee windfarm...

ScottishPower has submitted a planning application to deliver the UK’s largest electrolyser which will be the key component of a green hydrogen facility located close to its Whitelee windfarm. 

Alongside the 20MW electrolyser, the application also includes proposals for a combined solar and battery energy storage scheme - up to 40MW and 50MW respectively - to power the electrolyser. They will be installed about 5km west of Lochgoin Reservoir and next to the existing Whitelee Extension substation.

The submission marks an important step for Green Hydrogen for Scotland, a partnership between ScottishPower, BOC and ITM Power, to create green hydrogen production facilities with clusters of refuelling stations across Scotland.

The proposed green hydrogen project will be engineered and operated by BOC, using wind and solar power produced by ScottishPower Renewables, and the electrolyser will be delivered by ITM Power. The project aims to supply hydrogen to the commercial market before 2023.

Green Hydrogen for Glasgow aims to provide carbon-free transport and clean air for communities across Glasgow as well as helping support industrial hydrogen demand in the region. The city, set to host the United Nations 26th Climate Change Conference, COP26, later this year, aims to become the first net zero city in the UK by 2030.   

Barry Carruthers, ScottishPower’s Hydrogen Director, said: “With all eyes set to be on Glasgow later this year as the city hosts the UN’s 26th climate change conference, COP26, it’s fantastic to be making this next important step towards delivering green hydrogen for Glasgow.

“Whitelee keeps breaking barriers, first the UK’s largest onshore windfarm, and soon to be home to the UK’s largest electrolyser. The site has played a vital role in helping the UK to decarbonise and we look forward to delivering another vital form of zero carbon energy generation at the site to help Glasgow and Scotland achieve their net zero goals.”

He added green hydrogen has a vital role to play in Scotland and the wider UK’s journey to Net Zero emissions, providing a sustainable energy source that can provide clean, renewable energy for industries, heavy transport and companies for future decades.

Green hydrogen is a zero carbon energy source which can be used by industries and companies that cannot fully electrify their operations to help them lower their emissions, for example, heavy duty transport like buses and bin lorries.

The technology gets its name from the green power source, normally wind or solar, used to power an electrolyser to split water into its core elements; hydrogen and oxygen gas. The hydrogen can then be stored and transported for use as needed.

The green hydrogen facility at Whitelee, the UK’s largest onshore windfarm, will house a 20MW electrolyser and would be able to produce up to 8 tonnes of green hydrogen per day, roughly equivalent to fuelling over 550 buses to travel from Glasgow to Edinburgh and back again each day.

Graham Cooley, CEO ITM Power, said it marks an exciting milestone based on market development for green hydrogen for the city of Glasgow, that will see the UK’s largest electrolyser deployment to date being realised in Scotland.

Mark Griffin, Hydrogen Market Development Manager for Clean Fuels at BOC said: “The scale of this project demonstrates the growing demand for clean hydrogen and as a member of the Green Hydrogen for Scotland partnership, we’re delighted to bring our hydrogen mobility and refuelling project expertise to help deliver a ground-breaking facility in Glasgow.”

The hydrogen production facility could support Glasgow City Council as well as surrounding local authorities and industries in their ambitions to create a zero emissions vehicle fleet, using only electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles by the end of 2029.

ScottishPower expects a decision on the planning application in autumn.

The UK recently announced a £3 million investment to develop the Tees Valley hydrogen transport hub (click here). 

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