Vast salt caverns to store hydrogen under former Royal Navy base

Featured In: The Telegraph

Natural gas reserves will be used for emergencies to plug gap in renewables’ production

By Jonathan Leake 

DAILY TELEGRAPH 30 June 2024

Vast salt caverns designed to store hydrogen are to be excavated under Britain’s biggest former naval base as part of plans to bolster the country’s energy security. 

Each the size of St Paul’s Cathedral, the 19 caverns will be dug under Portland Harbour in Dorset and filled with enough hydrogen to fuel a power station for days.

The hydrogen contained in the caverns will be reserved for emergency use and called upon when wind and solar farms are not generating enough energy to keep Britain’s lights on.

Claire Coutinho, the energy secretary, is said to have not only backed the scheme but also altered the Government’s hydrogen storage business policy to ensure it can secure taxpayer subsidies.

UK Oil and Gas (UKOG), the company behind the scheme, has said it will seek planning permission within months.

Stephen Sanderson, UKOG’s chief executive, has said he would make the application under the Government’s nationally significant infrastructure system, allowing it to bypass potential local opposition. 

He said: “Portland Port is ideally situated for the construction of large salt caverns as it overlies a 450-metre thick, high-quality rock salt.”…. download entire article

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