Case study

Exploring the technical feasibility of a green hydrogen hub

We undertook a technical feasibility study and developed an outline business case for a 100% Green Hydrogen Hub.


The Outer Hebrides have some of the best wind conditions in Europe, and have the potential to develop significant onshore and offshore windfarm projects. However, the current supporting systems and energy infrastructure do not allow the islands to take full advantage of this opportunity, constraining generation and locking islanders into expensive, imported carbon intensive fuels.

Green hydrogen offers the potential to support significant development of wind power, as well as provide a secure, zero-carbon future for the islands.

Our work

We undertook a technical feasibility study and developed an outline business case for a 100% Green Hydrogen Hub for the Isle of Lewis Council. The study considered the whole hydrogen value chain, from renewable energy input, through hydrogen production and storage, to the use of hydrogen in a number of consumption scenarios, including:

  • Municipal transport (recycling trucks, gritters and local buses).
  • Local gas network in Stornoway serving homes and commercial premises.
  • Industrial applications including distilleries, aquaculture and manufacturing.
  • Fuel for the island ferries and aviation.

Working with our partners, we undertook techno-economic modelling to determine the cost of the hydrogen use cases compared to the existing fossil fuel arrangements and the benefits that a hydrogen may provide to the islands in terms of Gross Value Add and job creation. We also considered the logistical challenges of setting up a hydrogen hub relating to governance and risk management for strategic and commercial stakeholders.


Our study demonstrated that there are credible sources of hydrogen demand from within the island community and further afield. We also identified:

  • Suitable, commercially available technology that could be deployed to produce, store and distribute the required quantities of hydrogen
  • Organisational, commercial and financial solutions to allow viable operation of the Hub
  • Funding and delivery models for the Hub’s assets and operators.

The Council has subsequently been awarded pathfinder funding as part the Green Growth Accelerator Programme (GGA), to further develop the business case for the Hydrogen Hub.

Illustrative hydrogen distribution system for the Outer Hebrides

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