The Scottish Government has unveiled a pioneering clean energy project that will see 10 hydrogen fuel cell buses deployed in the city of Aberdeen to reduce emissions from the city’s public transport fleet.
The project, which has around £3.3million in financial backing from the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and the European Commission, will see Scotland’s first hydrogen refuelling hub built in the city.
The refuelling station will also be available for use by members of the public to refuel hydrogen-powered passenger cars.
The hydrogen fuel cell buses, which are scheduled to be operating in the city by early 2014, produce water vapour instead of carbon monoxide and other pollutants that contribute to air quality problems.
Scottish & Southern Energy Power Distribution (SSEPD) and industrial gases supplier BOC, are developing a system which can utilise wind energy to produce and store hydrogen that is then used as fuel for the bus fleet, as well as for generating electricity at times of peak demand.
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said: “Through our Green Bus Fund, the Scottish Government is already supporting the roll out of 74 low carbon buses, such as diesel-electric hybrids, to reduce harmful vehicle emissions. Hydrogen buses will produce zero local emissions.
“Aberdeen is already Europe’s offshore energy capital and this exciting new project can help position it as a leading city for low carbon technology and green transport. With a strong group of project partners, this initiative will boost Scotland’s profile as a key hydrogen technology hub and a world-leading investment location for pioneering low carbon energy and transport systems.”
Aberdeen will be the second city in the UK to operate hydrogen powered buses, after a fleet of the vehicles began operating in London in 2011.
Barney Crockett, leader of Aberdeen city council, said: “This funding is a vital contribution to Aberdeen city council and its partners’ work to introduce a fleet of hydrogen buses to the area. I believe this initiative will stimulate further innovative hydrogen technology projects and attract even more high-level investment to this city. It is a crucial step towards Aberdeen becoming a world-leading, smart hydrogen city.”