Surf ‘n’ Turf
Project: Surf ‘n’ Turf
Timescale: 2015 – 2017
Funder: Local Energy Scotland and the Scottish Government’s Local Energy Challenge Fund
Funding: £1.46 m
- Community Energy Scotland (lead partner)
- Eday Renewable Energy
- Orkney Islands Council
- ITM Power
- Enable Orkney to make and use more electricity locally.
- Reduce imports of fossil fuels and emissions of carbon dioxide.
- Help Orkney communities and companies to harness locally-sourced energy.
Orkney has an abundance of renewable energy so much so that parts of the electricity grid routinely hit full capacity. When the grid is ‘full’, some of the wind energy generators in Orkney have to limit production or stop completely. That means Orkney misses out on its full clean energy potential.
Surf ‘n’ Turf was the first community project in Orkney to harness wind and tidal power for hydrogen production. A 500 kW electrolyser was set up at EMEC’s tidal test site on Eday. The electrolyser uses electrocity to split water (H2O) into hydrogen gas (H2) and oxygen (O2). For the Surf ‘n’ Turf project the power was supplied by tidal energy converters testing at EMEC’s Fall of Warness tidal test site, and the community owned wind turbine run by Eday Renewable Energy.
Providing hydrogen is made from renewable electricity, hydrogen is a carbon neutral, clean, non-polluting energy source (fuel).
In August 2017 the world’s first tidal-powered hydrogen was generated at EMEC’s tidal test site as part of the project.
Once the hydrogen had been generated, it was stored then transported in specially designed hydrogen storage trailers. The hydrogen was then shipped to Kirkwall where a 75 kW fuel cell housed at Kirkwall Pier could convert hydrogen back to electricity to be used as auxiliary power for the ferries when docked in the harbour (a process known as ‘cold ironing’).
The specialist mobile stores that Surf ’n’ Turf brought to Orkney were unique in the UK at the time. Smaller than most articulated lorries, they were designed for Eday’s roads and the inter island ferries. The trailers were crash protection tested and fitted with built in safety systems.
Through Surf ‘n’ Turf, accredited hydrogen training courses have been developed in conjunction with the local college.
Surf ’n’ Turf was a pilot project focussed on powering ferries and developing training courses for using green hydrogen however that is just the start of the opportunities Orkney could benefit from. Hydrogen could, over time, replace conventional diesel and petrol in our cars, vans and ferries.
Check out some of our other green hydrogen related projects which build on the foundations laid in Surf ‘n’ Turf: EMEC hydrogen projects
- Nov 2017: Fully Charged | Orkney setting the scene for the future of renewables
- Sept 2017: Orkney’s sustainable energy strategy unveiled
- Sept 2017: Surf ‘n’ Turf hydrogen fuel cell unveiled in Orkney
- Sept 2017: World’s first tidal-powered hydrogen generated at EMEC
- April 2016: H2Orkney Surf’n’Turf on BBC Brainwaves
- Dec 2015: Have your say on Orkney’s hydrogen strategy
- Sept 2015: H2 Orkney month
- Aug 2015: Surf and Turf – your chance to find out more about hydrogen in Orkney
- April 2015: Integrated hydrogen system for tidal energy storage
- Nov 2014: Funding welcomed for wind and tidal initiative