Surf 'n' Turf

The Challenge

Surf 'n' Turf is an innovative community renewables project in Orkney. It aims to generate hydrogen from wind and tidal energy (hence Surf ‘n’ Turf), and use that hydrogen to avoid grid limitations and supply important local demand, like the inter-island ferries.

The ambition

Enable Orkney to both make and use electricity locally, reducing imports of fossil fuels and CO2 emissions and supporting Orkney communities and companies to harness locally-sourced energy.


The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) has invested in an electrolyser that will use power from tidal turbines operating at the company’s test site off Eday to produce hydrogen. To build on this, Community Energy Scotland and partners created Surf ‘n’ Turf, so that power from the community wind turbine in Eday can also be used to produce hydrogen using EMEC’s electrolyser, and then this energy is transported to where it is needed.

Hydrogen can be stored, so will be shipped to Kirkwall where a hydrogen fuel cell will be housed on Kirkwall Pier. The fuel cell can convert the hydrogen back into electricity by mixing it with oxygen from the air. This electricity will then be used to power the Harbour buildings and marina, and as auxiliary power for the ferries when docked in the harbour.

In addition, the Surf ‘n’ Turf project is building this fuel cell to marine standards, as it would be on a ship, which will create a unique UK facility to allow mariners to train in Orkney for the next generation of hydrogen powered vessel.

The Surf ‘n’ Turf project

The Surf ‘n’ Turf project has attracted £1.46 million in development funding from the Scottish Government’s Local Energy Challenge Fund.

The project is overseen by Community Energy Scotland, alongside partners EMEC, Orkney Island Council, Eday Renewable Energy and ITM Power.

The Future

Orkney is pioneering a practical use of hydrogen of potentially great future significance to shipping and other industries, as well as to other communities that are rich in renewable energy resources, but have grid issues of their own.


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Community Energy Scotland, Highlands and Islands Social Enterprise Zone, 67A Castle Street, Inverness IV2 3DU
Registered Scottish Charity (No. SC039673), and company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland (No. SC333698)
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