Glenrothes MP visits Markinch Biomass Power Station to understand RWE’s hydrogen plans

Local Glenrothes MP Peter Grant recently visited Markinch CHP biomass plant to understand the exciting development opportunities between RWE and Scottish gas distribution company SGN. The partnership is to investigate the feasibility of supplying green hydrogen for heating Scottish businesses and homes, produced at the power station site.

The visit follows a recent agreement between the two companies to look at how green hydrogen produced from renewable power sources can be used as a replacement for natural gas in Scotland’s gas distribution networks.

As part of the agreement, a feasibility study will be conducted over the coming months into a 100-megawatt (MW) electrolyser at RWE’s Markinch CHP biomass plant. This could produce green hydrogen from local and grid connected renewable energy, to connect into SGN’s gas network in Fife. It would build on the work SGN is already undertaking in Levenmouth on their world-first H100 Fife demonstration project, which is seeking to supply hydrogen as a zero-carbon fuel for heating and cooking to local homes through a new distribution network.

During the visit, local MP Mr Grant had the opportunity to hear more about the plans and how this could deliver low-carbon fuel for heating to homes and businesses in Fife, as well as delivering new investment in local energy infrastructure.

Speaking following the visit, MP Peter Grant said: ”It was great to visit Markinch Power Station to hear from RWE and SGN about plans to investigate the development of green hydrogen production at the site, and how this innovative new technology could provide green gas to local homes and businesses in the future. Scotland is leading the way in the development of future renewable energy sources, which presents opportunities for investment and jobs in these exciting new sectors.”

Steve Boughton, RWE Director Hydrogen Development, added: “It was fantastic to welcome Mr Grant to the plant to discuss our future hydrogen plans. Hydrogen will play an essential role in the pathway to net zero, particularly in industry and homes which are hard to decarbonise. The project with SGN perfectly demonstrates a collaborative approach for the decarbonisation of domestic and business gas networks, and to help Government achieve its ambitions for 10GW of hydrogen production.”

RWE’s 55MW Markinch Combined Heat and Power Biomass Station is fuelled by 450,000 tonnes of biomass fuel per year, 90% of which is made up of recovered waste wood and 10% from sustainably managed forests. Since 2019, RWE has been working in partnership with the Scottish Government and Fife Council in running the Glenrothes Energy Network, which sees the power station provide 100% renewable heat to local homes and businesses in Glenrothes town centre, via the local district heating scheme.