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14/09/2021

New Flagship Hydrogen Skills Partnership Announced

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The Hydrogen Skills Partnership, a new flagship alliance, has been announced aiming to show the benefits a thriving green hydrogen sector would bring to Scotland and across the UK.

The Hydrogen Skills Partnership is made up of ScottishPower, ITM Power, Arcola Energy, Robert Gordon University, Energy Transition Zone Limited, Skills Development Scotland, Aberdeen University, North East Scotland College and the Hydrogen Accelerator (based at the University of St Andrews).

Working together, the partners will collaborate in assessing the readiness of the UK supply chain to support green hydrogen projects and highlight the potential economic value for the domestic supply chain. The Hydrogen Skills Partnership will also show the potential for green, sustainable skills and high-value jobs emerging from a future hydrogen sector, using live projects as case studies.

Commercial insights from this work will support academic, public and private sectors as they look to maximise the positive impacts emerging from the growth of a green hydrogen economy. Robert Gordon University, University of Aberdeen, North East Scotland College, Energy Transition Zone and Skills Development Scotland are already working closely on a new programme as the 'National Energy Skills Accelerator - NESA' and this new initiative will build upon established foundations for analysing the opportunities in the green energy transition.

Announcing the new alliance in Aberdeen, Barry Carruthers, ScottishPower's Hydrogen Director said: "We recognise the role green hydrogen has to play in the climate emergency and we want to ensure that the UK is able to directly benefit from a thriving green hydrogen economy. We're already working on a number of significant green hydrogen projects across the UK and The Hydrogen Skills Partnership will help bring together experts from industry and academia to ensure we're able to develop a supply chain and skilled workforce who stand ready to help us make the UK one of the world leaders in green hydrogen."

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ScottishPower is currently involved in a number of green hydrogen projects in Scotland, including a project to deliver the UK's largest green hydrogen facility at their Whitelee Windfarm close to Glasgow. This project is being delivered with partners including ITM Power, owners of the largest electrolyser manufacturing facility in the world. The company are headquartered in Sheffield and have ambitions to deliver future facilities in the UK to keep pace with growing demand.

Dr. Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM Power described the future career opportunities: "ITM Power manufactures and promotes world-class green hydrogen solutions with a view to creating a sustainable society, free from fossil fuels, so that the next generation can breathe clean air. If we are to achieve this, we need to work closely with the workforce of the future to give them the skills they need to work within, and contribute towards, the future green economy. The Hydrogen Skills Partnership will use the green hydrogen projects being developed today, to build and secure the supply chain opportunities of tomorrow, enabling us to share those insights from the outset of the growing green hydrogen sector."

Arcola Energy is working to deliver hydrogen fuel cell electric zero emission heavy duty vehicles in Scotland and establishing a new manufacturing facility and team at MSIP in Dundee. Supported by ScottishPower and ITM Power, Arcola Energy is currently delivering the Scottish Schools' Hydrogen Challenge for COP26, helping to educate secondary school children on the role of green hydrogen in tackling climate change and the decarbonisation of transport. The announcement of The Hydrogen Skills Partnership took place at the Aberdeen City Final of the Challenge.

Dr Ben Todd, CEO of Arcola Energy highlighted the need for this type of collaboration: As a leader in hydrogen and fuel cell integration for heavy-duty vehicles and transport, Arcola Energy is working with Government, academia and industry partners to develop new skills and supply chain opportunities for zero-emission vehicle powertrains. The Hydrogen Skills Partnership complements our work by bringing a focus to the future jobs and skills requirements for the future green hydrogen supply chain."

Professor Paul de Leeuw, Chair of the National Energy Skills Accelerator added: "The Hydrogen Skills Partnership is a great example of how industry and academia can collaborate for the benefit of the UK. We are very proud to be playing our role to equip Scotland and the UK with the diverse energy workforce required to deliver the energy transition and a thriving hydrogen economy."

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