City firm helps Isle to go green

Solar panels at ITM's Sheffield research centre provide the power to generate hydrogen from water for the refuelling station in the background.
Solar panels at ITM's Sheffield research centre provide the power to generate hydrogen from water for the refuelling station in the background.
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Green energy company ITM Power has joined forces with a number of blue chip multinationals to undertake the largest single sustainable energy project in the UK.

The company, whose research and development facilities are based in Sheffield, is teaming up with IBM, Toshiba, Cable & Wireless Worldwide, Scottish and Southern Energy and Southern Water to launch the EcoIsland consortium.

EcoIsland is using ‘smart technology’ to create a renewable energy system on the Isle of Wight to demonstrate how energy systems might look in the future.

ITM Power will supply hydrogen production and refuelling equipment which will be linked to systems for generating renewable energy from wind, solar, tidal and geothermal power.

The firm’s technology will be used to refuel vehicles, adapted to run on hydrogen as well as petrol and electric vehicles powered by fuel cells, which combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity.

It will also showcase its HBox Solar and Hfill products which can be used in a home to produce hydrogen from solar power and fill the fuel tank of a hydrogen powered car.

EcoIsland founder David Green said: “The collection of technologies that we are bringing together on EcoIsland will provide the total energy solution for tomorrow’s world.

“Hydrogen and ITM Power’s technology will be integral to proving that renewable energy can be utilised effectively despite being intermittent.

“Using wind energy to decarbonise the transport system on the island is a fantastic prospect.”

ITM Power chief executive Graham Cooley said: “Joined up thinking in the energy sector is rare and EcoIsland is a world class project on our doorstep with exactly that.

“We are convinced that hydrogen is the solution to renewable power intermittency and decarbonising road transport so where better to prove hydrogen energy storage than on the EcoIsland?”

The EcoIsland project’s aims include turning the Isle of Wight into a net energy exporter by 2020 and cutting energy bills for residents.