The concept behind the Surf ‘n Turf project is to enable Orkney to both make and use more electricity locally; to reduce fossil fuels imports and CO2 emissions; and to support Orkney communities and companies to herness locally sourced energy.
The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) has invested in an electrolyser to use power from tidal turbines operating at the company’s test site off Eday to produce hydrogen by splitting water.
To build on this, Community Energy Scotland and partners created Surf ‘n’ Turf, so that power from Eday Renewable Energy’s community wind turbine can also be used to produce hydrogen using EMEC’s electrolyser.
Hydrogen can be stored, so it is shipped to Kirkwall where a hydrogen fuel cell is housed on Kirkwall Pier. The fuel cell converts the hydrogen back into electricity by mixing it with oxygen from the air. This electricity can power facilities in the Harbour area, and the ferries when docked.
Watch this three-minute video explaining what the Surf ‘n’ Turf project involves and how the technology works.
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 any future hydrogen powered vessel.
And the future?
Through Surf ’n’ Turf, Orkney is pioneering practical uses of hydrogen. Training and new opportunities with clean fuels are potentially of significance to shipping and other industries – as well as to communities that are rich in renewable energy resources, but have grid issues of their own.
The Surf ’n’ Turf project has attracted £1.46 million in development funding from the Scottish Government’s Local Energy Challenge Fund.
It is co-funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 programme, under the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking.
The project is led by Community Energy Scotland, alongside partners EMEC, Orkney Island Council, Eday Renewable Energy and ITM Power.