Partners: Wales & West Utilities, Kiwa Gastec, Amec Foster Wheeler

Funding: Network Innovation Allowance (NIA)

In July 2016, the H21 Leeds City Gate report was launched in Westminster. Using England’s fourth largest city as a blueprint, this pioneering feasibility study, led by Northern Gas Networks, confirmed that conversion of the UK gas network to 100% hydrogen was both technically possible and could be delivered at a realistic cost.

It provided evidence that the UK gas networks are the correct capacity to be converted to 100% hydrogen, low carbon hydrogen could be credibly sourced at scale, conversion of UK cities could be achieved incrementally, appliances could be converted to operate on 100% hydrogen, and hydrogen could be stored to manage intraday and inter-seasonal swings in demand.

The headline design parameters for a city the size of Leeds are:

• Hydrogen would be provided through a production capacity of 1,025 MW via 4 off 256 MW steam methane reformers (SMRs) located at Teesside due to its access to carbon capture and storage (CCS)

• Total annual demand in a peak year would be 6.4 TWh

• Intraday storage of circa 4,000 MWh will be provided via salt caverns on Teesside

• Inter-seasonal storage of 700,000 MWh will be provided through salt caverns in the Humber region

• 1.5m tonnes of CO2 would be sequestered each year

• The total cost to convert Leeds including hydrogen production and storage, all associated infrastructure and appliance conversions would be in the region of £2bn

Leeds City Gate also provided a financing methodology minimising impact on UK customers’ bills, taking advantage of the natural expenditure profile of the UK gas industry and its established financing methodology.