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EDF UK R&D led Bay Hydrogen Hub project gets major boost

By EDF | Posted December 01, 2022

An EDF UK R&D led scheme to utilise innovative technology which uses nuclear generated heat and electricity to create hydrogen has won government backing.

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) has awarded an EDF UK led consortium investigating how nuclear derived heat and electricity could be used to produce zero carbon hydrogen, transported to dispersed industrial sites and used to demonstrate decarbonisation of the asphalt and cement industries. The team have secured just under £400,000 to develop the 'Bay Hydrogen Hub' project.

The project is being led by the Zero Carbon Hubs team within Smart Customers, working closely with the Generation Strategic and Commercial Development team, the Heysham 2 site, Ceres Power, Hynamics, NPROXX, Hanson and NNL.

The whole project is a full end-to-end hydrogen production, distribution and use solution with innovation throughout the chain:

  • CERES’ Solid Oxide Electrolyser Cell (SOEC) technology with nuclear heat and electricity will be over 20% more efficient than traditional electrolytic hydrogen production.

  • NPROXX composite mobile and stationary storage solutions can carry >2x the H2 volume of conventional tube trailers

  • Hydrogen has never before been used in an asphalt process anywhere in the world.

Andy Pyle, Heysham 2 Technical & Safety Support Manager said: “This is a real opportunity for the Heysham site to investigate, and hopefully showcase another potential use of nuclear energy, using both steam and electricity to generate hydrogen. The Heysham 2 site was originally constructed with an electrolysis plant, so we have a high degree of confidence that we can demonstrate that this newer, more efficient technology is feasible on our site, and ultimately this will help EDF to show that nuclear energy could help in the net zero transition of other industries. I'm really looking forward to completing this study, and seeing how the new technology shapes up.”

This funding will enable us to fully assess the feasibility of the project, develop engineering design, ROM costs and investigate the future commercial impact of the technologies and how they could be leveraged across other industries. The target of the feasibility study is a credible, workable engineering design solution that can be tested during a demonstration phase from March 2023 to March 2025, if further funding is successfully secured. This is the only project of it’s kind in Europe, and only the second nuclear hydrogen project to plan to couple SOEC with nuclear heat and electricity.

The Bay Hydrogen Hub research and development will also make a significant contribution to decarbonising multiple construction industries and supporting nuclear generated hydrogen from the next generation of nuclear reactors at Sizewell C and Advanced Modular Reactors.

Contact: Chris Kiely, Zero Carbon Hub Senior Manager,