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Green the Green Gas Supply – HyDeploy: A Hydrogen Blending Project

Through the HyDeploy project, the village of Winlaton near Gateshead will shortly make history when its residents become the first in the UK to receive hydrogen in their public gas supply. The 670 homes will receive a blend of up to 20% hydrogen for a period of 10 months to demonstrate that hydrogen can be used to green the green gas supply without any impact on the way we use gas to cook and heat our homes.

Currently over a third of carbon dioxide emissions in the UK are generated from the natural gas we  use to heat the eight out of ten homes connected to the gas network. By 2050 the Government’s  target is to achieve net zero carbon emissions, which means there is a huge challenge to change the way we heat our homes.

Unlike the natural gas (methane) currently supplied, hydrogen creates no carbon when used. The beauty of the 20% hydrogen blended gas is that it requires no change to appliances and customers do not notice any difference to their gas supply. The blended gas has already been successfully supplied via a private network at Keele University campus but this next phase brings a hydrogen blend to a public gas network for the first time.

Winlaton was selected as it is close to our site at Low Thornley where we have installed hydrogen storage facilities and specialist equipment to add hydrogen to the gas network. Winlaton is an ideal size for our demonstration. In addition, it has a closed gas network and is typical of many communities with a church, primary school and several businesses alongside residential properties.  

HyDeploy is a project run by the North East’s gas distributor Northern Gas Networks along with partners Cadent, Keele University, ITM Power, Progressive Energy and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The project has the support of Gateshead Council and a rigorous approach to safety has been adopted through work with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Free gas safety checks for appliances have already been offered at all the properties which will receive the blended gas.

This exciting project in the North East is a vital step towards using hydrogen in the public gas network and the results will be submitted to the Government to help form policies about the future of gas.  If blended gas was distributed to homes and businesses across the country, it could prevent 6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide being released to the atmosphere every year. That’s the same as taking 2.5 million cars off the roads, so the project is hugely important.

We encourage our partners and supporters to share their examples of good practice in tackling the climate emergency, reversing ecological collapse and delivering a just transition. NEECCo does not undertake to quality assure these case studies, and inclusion of a case study on this website does not imply endorsement of the project by NEECCo or by its partners.

Some case studies will feature organisations who are involved in fossil fuel industries, or who are open to challenge on other aspects of their performance in relation to our objectives. NEECCo recognises that if we are to reach our ambitious objectives, all organisations and individuals within the north east will need to adapt their behaviour and actions. We want our case studies to encourage this process. Our commitment to achieving a just transition from a carbon-based economy to a green economy requires us to encourage positive steps wherever they are to be found. 

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