TEESSIDE has been chosen as the location of a pioneering energy project aiming to reduce carbon emissions by demonstrating that the existing domestic gas network can fully carry hydrogen for use by homes and businesses.

The trial, which is due to commence in November in South Bank, subject to planning, is expected to attract attention from around the world and if successful lead to the creation of new jobs in the region.

A piece of disused land, between Ann Street and Harcourt Road, is being leased by Northern Gas Networks (NGN) for the trial from Redcar and Cleveland Council after approval was received from cabinet members.

The site was chosen because gas pipes on it, while all still intact, are disconnected from the rest of the network.

Mark Horsley, chief executive of NGN, said: “Teesside’s vast industrial heritage makes it a natural home for this project and we’re delighted that Redcar and Cleveland Council have approved this first stage.”

Councillor Wayne Davies, cabinet member for economic development at Redcar and Cleveland Council, said: “The council has set an ambitious target to be a carbon neutral borough by 2030. 

“NGN’s proposal could attract national and international interest in the hydrogen economy and the challenge to decarbonise heat. 

“This very much aligns with the council’s own carbon objectives.

“NGN has reached the next stage of the process which will bring more detailed consultation with local residents and councillors before the submission of their planning application.” 

Hydrogen contains no carbon element so when burnt only produces heat and water, making it a realistic future fuel for domestic heating and cooking. 

The proposal for South Bank is part of the next phase of the H21 project, a major collaborative UK gas industry hydrogen programme led by NGN and funded, monitored and audited by Ofgem, the gas industry governing body

Existing gas pipes on the former housing site, just off Normanby Road, will be used to test daily a series of standard gas network procedures using hydrogen.

Gas monitoring will take place around the perimeter of the land, triggering an alert should there be any migration of gas.