Global Engineering and Construction Group, a unit of Foster Wheeler, has been awarded a study contract by the UK Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) to assess the feasibility of flexible power generation systems, and map suitable hydrogen storage sites in the country.
Over a period of five months, the company will search for salt cavern sites up to 25 miles off the UK coastline that are of sufficient size, depth and quality to be considered for hydrogen storage.
The group, in collaboration with the British Geological Survey, will also assess the financial viability of flexible power generation systems, which involves the production of hydrogen from coal, biomass or natural gas.
These systems may also capture and store carbon dioxide (CO2), which would otherwise be released into the atmosphere, according to ETI.
ETI CCS programme manager Andrew Green commented; "ETI modelling shows that flexible power generation systems comprising hydrogen generation with CCS, intermediate hydrogen storage (particularly using salt caverns) and flexible turbines are potentially attractive components in any future UK energy system.
"This project is a first step in a long journey, which could ultimately see such systems as a key part of a future low carbon, flexible and affordable energy system. If successful, the benefits could potentially be huge."
Foster Wheeler president and Chief Operating Officer Umberto della Sala said; "Foster Wheeler has been working with ETI for four years and this latest award confirms ETI's confidence in our technical expertise in the field of carbon capture and storage, and our ability to deliver high-quality studies."