The Scottish and UK governments chose the location as a “green freeport” in January, along with a Firth of Forth port. Start-up funds and other incentives for the two green freeport concepts total £52 million (€59 million).
The green freeport will manufacture offshore wind turbines, green hydrogen, and an innovation hub. The North of Scotland Hydrogen Programme, funded by Opportunity Cromarty Firth, ScottishPower, and Storegga, recently revealed plans to build one of the UK’s largest green hydrogen electrolysers with a 30MW capacity in its first phase.
In a January draft energy policy, the Scottish Government suggested using its massive offshore wind resource to generate hydrogen. The document listed Scotland’s potential offshore wind pipeline of over 38GW and set a renewable and low-carbon hydrogen production goal of 5GW by 2030 and 25GW by 2045.
“Unlocking Scotland’s tremendous offshore wind potential, resulting in Scotland producing large-scale renewable hydrogen that is competitively priced within a rising European market” would do this, according to a December Hydrogen Action Plan.
The Scottish government intends to use hydrogen generation to boost its supply chain and infrastructure. It found opportunities in the Highlands and Islands and south of Scotland.
Renewable hydrogen production is possible “through repurposing and diversifying important oil and gas ports, and capitalising on the region’s large offshore wind resource” in the Highlands and Islands.
The Scottish government vowed to assist the renewable electricity and hydrogen sectors via existing and new market mechanisms, use its existing authorities to support international commerce in renewables and renewable hydrogen, and explore new consenting powers for offshore marine environments.