Government funding has been allocated to construct one of the largest and most advanced hydrogen production facilities in the UK, situated on the exact location that supplied gas to the residents of Bradford nearly a century ago.

The traditional gas storage sites, which served Bradford’s populace since the early 20th century, are now undergoing transformation into a cutting-edge hydrogen facility designed for the 21st century. In the 1930s, the gasworks site, a substantial engineering project, produced ‘town gas’ to meet the heating needs of the city.

Constructed by Clayton & Sons, these telescopic structures had the capacity to store 18,000 tonnes of water, containing the gas before its controlled release each day during peak times, aligning with local energy demand. With technological advancements and the enhanced capabilities of the contemporary gas network, the conventional gas holders were dismantled in 2022.

Today, technology is once again taking the lead. N-Gen Energy Solutions Limited (N-Gen), in collaboration with Hygen Energy Holdings and Ryze Hydrogen, will work on a joint venture to establish one of the UK’s largest low hydrocarbon production facilities. The primary objective is to use renewable energy to power an electrolyser for the production of green hydrogen.

Once completed, the facility will feature a production unit generating hydrogen from low carbon energy sources and a refuelling station for hydrogen-powered vehicles, serving local buses, public transport, and private sector fleets. This initiative will provide motorists in Bradford with the option of zero-emission vehicle technologies: battery electric cars with recharge times of 30-60 minutes or hydrogen fuel cell cars refilling in just 8 minutes, offering 30%-50% more range.

The hydrogen facility will support future fleets operating in the area, contributing to the sustainability of Bradford’s local transportation in accordance with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. This will result in reduced carbon emissions and costs, improvements in air quality and health, and the creation of new jobs, fostering sustainable economic growth through investment in a clean emission economy.

Decarbonizing the energy sector is crucial to achieving the UK’s climate change goals, which include legislating for a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions target for the entire economy by 2050. This necessitates significant investments in various technologies, such as low carbon hydrogen.

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council said; “This hydrogen facility in Bradford will be the UK’s first ever dual energy Zero Emission refuelling station catering for both battery electric and hydrogen refuelling electric vehicles.”

“Tackling climate change is important to Bradford whilst at the same time building a sustainable and prosperous economy that works in the interests of everyone and minimises waste and the use of finite natural resources.”

“Research shows that clean growth could add £11bn to the city region economy and create 100,000 extra skilled jobs for local people and we want Bradford to be part of this new industrial revolution.”