Levenmouth Community Energy Project Overview
Levenmouth is an area situated on the south coast of Fife consisting of three towns – Leven, Buckhaven and Methil. The project is operated by Bright Green Hydrogen from The Hydrogen Office, based in Methil Docks Business Park. Situated on one of Europe’s largest former coal export docks, the project showcases the transition of old traditional energy to new green energy by exhibiting clean alternatives for power supplies and transport. This project was set up to demonstrate the use of hydrogen energy storage in order to overcome the intermittency of renewables. We provide a solution to reliable green energy that meets the supply and demand challenges of a local network and anticipate that this provides a blueprint for other companies to decarbonise specific sites in both the energy and transport sectors, using a smart microgrid. This has been achieved through the installation of world-leading technologies and first-time integrated designs.
In 2014, the principle project partners consisting of Bright Green Hydrogen, Fife Council and Toshiba formed a consortium of organisations and were successful in their bid to Local Energy Scotland Challenge Fund. A grant of £4.4 million was awarded to the project through the Scottish Government.
Technology Application – Energy Storage System
Our system uses green energy from our onsite wind turbine and solar PV to provide the main electricity supply for the business park microgrid. Excess renewable electricity is then used for generating hydrogen for storage. The energy storage system includes a 250kW PEM electrolyser, two low pressure storage tanks and a 100kW PEM fuel cell. The stored hydrogen, obtained through the process of electrolysis, can be supplied to the fuel cell during interims when there isn’t sufficient renewable energy to power the microgrid. Consequently, the energy storage system is a backup energy source. Toshiba’s smart energy management system is vital in the active management of the switch to the microgrid and determines how much energy is stored.
Technology Application – Hydrogen Vehicles
The LCEP operates a fleet of 17 hydrogen hybrid vehicles, one of Europe’s largest operational hydrogen mixed use fleets. The fleet consists of 10 Renault Kangoo hydrogen-electric vans, which are zero emissions vehicles and integrated with fuel cell technology. These are leased at a price comparable to diesel vans, presenting the opportunity for local organisations to incorporate sustainable transport into their daily operation. The remaining vehicles consist of 5 Ford Transit vans and 2 refuse collection vehicles, both operating as hydrogen-diesel hybrids. These are owned by Fife Council and integrated into their operational fleet. The hydrogen RCVs are believed to be a world’s first.
The refuelling stations are located at Bright Green Hydrogen’s site in Methil and at Fife Council’s Bankhead site. Between these locations, a central hub for hydrogen vehicle refuelling has been created in Fife. The hydrogen for refuelling is generated renewably and so demonstrates how hydrogen can be used as a fuel to decarbonise our current transport system at various levels and bring further benefits to its users.
For more information on the project, please contact us.