Cheshire East Council has secured planning permission to build a hydrogen refuelling compound in Middlewich.
Working with Storengy, funding for the £1 million scheme was secured earlier this year and initially, will see a trial of two bin wagons converted to take home-produced hydrogen.
The scheme is funded by both public and private sector money – with a £345,000 grant from the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund. It will see the first green hydrogen fuelling facility in the North West of England.
Installed at the Cheshire East environmental hub in Middlewich, the facility will produce hydrogen using an electrolyser connected to solar panels.
This will provide hydrogen fuel that will thenl be pumped into dual-fuel bin wagons.
Councillor Nick Mannion, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for environment and regeneration, said: “We are committed to reducing our own emissions and becoming carbon neutral by 2025.
“The approval of planning permission for this scheme is an exciting step towards achieving that target.
“Initially, two bin wagons owned by the council and one vehicle owned by Storengy, will be converted to use the green hydrogen. This will reduce the council’s and Storengy’s diesel use by more than 10,000 litres per year.”
Councillor Quentin Abel, Cheshire East Council’s climate change champion, said the trial using hydrogen will hopefully show that the fuel will also be suitable for the council’s heavier and long-range vehicles, making it an alternative to diesel.
Abel said: “Moving to cleaner fuels, such as hydrogen, will help towards combating the increasing climate change crisis. It will also bring benefits locally through improved air quality – another strategic goal of our environment strategy.”