Plans to construct hydrogen hub on outskirts of Leamington are moved a step closer

Warwick District Council’s climate change portfolio holder Councillor Alan Rhead has said that “the hub could offer significant benefits to the area in terms of climate action and commercial benefits”. The hub would be built on land at Greys Mallory near the M40 with the construction of depots off Stratford Road in Warwick and at the Harbury Lane playing fields also being considered.

Plans to construct a hydrogen hub on land at Greys Mallory on the outskirts of Leamington near the M40 have moved a step closer this week after councillors agreed to look for a commercial partner to help develop the scheme.

The site, within the New House Farm development, is seen as the preferred option due to its proximity to the strategic road network - between junctions 13 and 14 of the motorway - and access to the grid.

Depots on Warwick’s Stratford Road and Harbury Lane playing fields are also being considered.

Warwick District Council's climate emergency logo. Picture submitted.

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At this week’s cabinet meeting of Warwick District Council, it was agreed that up to £50,000 be set aside from the Climate Action Fund to set-up a specialist commercial partnership ahead of a further report being produced which would include financial details and implications of its delivery and ongoing management.

A meeting has also been arranged with colleagues at Aberdeen Council where a similar scheme has been operating for more than two years.

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Referring to a study carried out by experts, Cllr Alan Rhead (Con, Budbrooke), the portfolio holder for climate change, told cabinet members: “It sets out that the development of a hydrogen hub producing green hydrogen is indeed feasible and could offer significant benefits to this district, not only in terms of decarbonisation, which is an important part of our climate action, but also commercial commercial benefits.

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“The study says the potential opportunity is a good one and one of the principal reasons for the production of hydrogen would be to fuel the council’s RCVs [refuse collection vehicles] to achieve the climate action ambitions.

“It goes on to say that it would be possible to produce hydrogen profitably which I think is important - though the business case is still to be set out. It is also important that the Government policy is currently very supportive of low carbon hydrogens which means it will be very competitive against diesel.

“We are not the experts in the business and will be looking at a partner or partners who are capable of using their experience.”

The study, carried out by energy specialists Kingscote Enterprises, explained: “The local benefits of developing a hydrogen facility would be a mixture of financial, economic, social and environmental.

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"The facility would provide a solid financial return to Warwick District Council in whichever capacity the council chooses to participate.

"There would be increased revenue to the area through traffic, local employment benefits for skilled workers; climate targets would be accelerated through reduced emissions, improved air quality and greater energy / fuel security; and the facility would be self-sufficient and zero carbon.”