Energy From Hydrogen

The establishment of a strong hydrogen economy nationally and locally is a real opportunity that is rapidly becoming attainable. This is a vision for the role that hydrogen could play particularly in South Yorkshire to help meet carbon reduction targets and contribute to the health and economic prosperity of the region.

The Sheffield Green Hydrogen Gigafactory

ITM Power, an energy storage and clean energy company, have announced a new ‘Gigafactory’ to produce green hydrogen in Sheffield. Working in collaboration with the University of Sheffield, it will be built at the university’s Innovation District.

Additionally, ITM Power and UoS will create a National Hydrogen Research Innovation and Skills Centre. This educational venture will conduct research and planning around green hydrogen production, streamlining technologies to deliver clean, safe and efficient low-carbon energy. It will also assist in training and career development, helping people for the transition to a hydrogen economy.

Sheffield green hydrogen gigafactory construction

Expected to be functional by the end of 2023, the Gigafactory will create green hydrogen through electrolysis of water using renewable sources of electricity. This process splits water into molecules of hydrogen and oxygen with electricity, and, as the process uses no fossil fuels, it creates fuel with zero carbon emissions.

This ‘green hydrogen’ is expected to be instrumental in decarbonising a number of sectors that are considered difficult to directly electrify, such as industrial processes, heating, freight and transport. Experts believe that green hydrogen usage will be necessary in order to reach net-zero emissions in the coming years.

The Gigafactory is ITM Power’s second green hydrogen factory, after the Bessemer Park Gigafactory, also in Sheffield. It will have a 1.5 GW capacity, moving with the step-up in capacity and demand for green hydrogen. ITM Power plans to use the Gigafactory as a step in rolling out a more automated fashion of their PEM electrolyser manufacturing facility.

The Gigafactory is planned as a low environmental impact building, meaning it will be constructed using our latest low-carbon technologies. The materials and facilities will be incorporated with the lowest carbon footprints available.

ITM Power Sheffield green hydrogen Gigafactory

The Innovation and Skills Centre will neighbour the Gigafactory site at the university’s Innovation District, in Tinsley. Research conducted here will go towards improving the manufacturing processes of green hydrogen, looking into possibilities with both renewable energy and nuclear power as alternatives to fossil fuels. They will also conduct research into the use of ‘digital twins’, which are virtual representations of physical objects, using machine learning to simulate hydrogen processes and allow researchers to extract data and apply improvements to their real-life processes.

The University of Sheffield’s Innovation District is also home to a Translational Energy Research Centre. Additionally, a new Sustainable Aviation Fuels Innovation Centre has been announced. With all these academic experts and industrial leaders centralised together, Sheffield can become a new hub for clean energy innovation.


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