ZeroAvia has signed an agreement with UK utility company ScottishPower to work together to develop low carbon hydrogen supply to key airport locations to support decarbonisation of the aviation sector.
As well as exploring airport hydrogen supply models and financing, the companies will also explore clean power requirements and hydrogen production infrastructure for potential future ZeroAvia sites within ScottishPower's distribution network areas across Scotland, north west England and north Wales.
ScottishPower's energy generation operations are already 100 per cent renewable and powered by its UK wind farms, with the company offering retail and business customers wholly clean energy on green tariffs.
ZeroAvia recently announced a 70 engine agreement with Scottish-headquartered airline Ecojet, backed by the prominent environmentalist and entrepreneur Dale Vince. The company also has a longstanding partnership with AGS Airports, which manages a number of UK airports including Glasgow and Aberdeen, to explore the hydrogen infrastructure requirements for airports to support hydrogen-electric flight and other potential use cases.
The Scottish Government's target of 5GW renewable and low carbon hydrogen production by 2030 is half of the UK Government's overall target, while major hydrogen production initiatives are also planned for the north west of England.
Sergey Kiselev, chief business officer, says: "With the plethora of existing renewables and many projects planned, Scotland has the chance to lead the UK in developing clean hydrogen supply. Working with leading energy companies like ScottishPower can help us overcome fuelling infrastructure challenges."
Peter Jones, director of ScottishPower's green hydrogen business, adds: "Green hydrogen, powered by renewable energy, can play a key role in the decarbonisation of heavy transport. We welcome the opportunity to support the aviation industry in delivering effective solutions for this important sector, enabling long term sustainable and cost-effective outcomes for customers."
Hydrogen-electric engines use hydrogen in fuel cells to generate electricity, which is then used to power electric motors to turn the aircraft's propellers. The only emission is water. ZeroAvia is already well advanced in flight testing a prototype of its first engines for 20 seat planes from its R&D hub in Gloucestershire, while working on the engine systems for larger 40-80 seat aircraft.