Orkney is to be the setting for an ambitious seven-month project demonstrating technologies to enable maritime decarbonisation.
The £2.2 million HIMET (Hydrogen in an Integrated Maritime Energy Transition) project will explore solutions for decarbonising ferries as well as shore-side activities in ports.
It is one of 55 projects selected for funding under the Department for Transport’s flagship Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, delivered in partnership with Innovate UK.
Led by EMEC Hydrogen in Orkney, HIMET will progress an ambitious programme of activities centred on the decarbonisation of two key local maritime sectors: ferry services and cruise terminal operations.
To decarbonise ferries, various solutions will be designed and demonstrated including hydrogen storage specifically intended for use on board a vessel, and the supply of on-board auxiliary power using a hydrogen fuel cell. A conventional ferry propulsion engine will also be tested running on pure hydrogen.
To develop resilient shore-side power for the maritime sector a hydrogen engine will be deployed at Hatston to power crew welfare facilities at the cruise terminal, and microgrid solutions will be explored to consider future power requirements for ferry terminals.
In parallel, HIMET will carry out research and stakeholder engagement activities to establish how decarbonised fuels (hydrogen and ammonia) coupled with technology innovations can best inform the broader maritime energy transition and help overcome regulatory barriers.
HIMET draws upon leading energy system and maritime expertise locally in Orkney and is strengthened by the involvement of leading technology developers and sector experts drawn from across the UK. The consortium includes Aquatera, EMEC Hydrogen, Eneus Energy, OakTec, Orcades Marine Management Consultants, Orkney Islands Council, Ricardo, RINA, Schneider Electric, ULEMCo, and Urban Foresight.
Once project demonstration activities are complete, HIMET partners will help facilitate uptake across the UK and further afield, demonstrating the maritime working practices of the future.