Dunsfold Park could be powered by the world’s first entirely renewable power grid, it has been revealed.
A “supercharged megawatt grid”, which has the potential to power up to 2,500 homes, could be an integral part of the plans for the site.
AFC Energy, a company which specifically develops fuel cell systems, is based at the Dunsfold site and has signed a non-binding business agreement with Dunsfold Park for the new grid.
Dunsfold Park would become the only UK business park with a micro-grid supplied entirely by a combination of hydrogen or renewable energy.
The agreement will see initial works on the landmark “micro grid” start in August 2017. The grid could produce between one and 1.5 megawatts of power for the site.
Jim McAllister, chief executive of Dunsfold Park Ltd, said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with AFC Energy, a long-time tenant of Dunsfold Park, on this nationally significant hydrogen fuel cell project.
“We look forward to seeing the results of the study and endorse the initiative’s full alignment with Dunsfold Park’s clean energy strategy, which has permeated all of our redevelopment activities over the past few years.
“Initiatives such as this collaboration with AFC Energy further highlight Dunsfold, the borough of Waverley and the county of Surrey’s prominence at the forefront of renewable energy technologies.”
The announcement comes while the proposed development of 1,800 homes at Dunsfold Park comes under review at a public inquiry.
A 12-day inquiry is being held after the 1,800 homes plan, approved by Waverley Borough Council in December last year, were “called in” by the government.
The inquiry, overseen by Inspector Philip Major, began on July 18 and is due to conclude late next week, before the inspector provides a final decision.
A long-term energy agreement has been made to meet the needs of the ever growing Dunsfold site, which would grow substantially if the “new town” development is approved.
AFC Energy’s project will be delivered in several stages and includes a hydrogen vehicle refuelling station and electric car recharging points.
The scheme is proposing an entirely renewable and clean micro-grid that is supplied with “green hydrogen” sourced locally from bio-methane.
Adam Bond, AFC Energy’s chief executive officer, added: “As long-term tenants of Dunsfold Park, we are delighted to now be collaborating in the commercial deployment of AFC Energy’s fuel cell technology.
“The introduction of hydrogen derived from renewable sources is a particular highlight of the proposed scheme and re-emphases the potential innovation in sourcing long term, sustainable hydrogen for our fuel cell projects.
“We look forward to working closely with Dunsfold Park in delivering this important clean energy initiative for the region.”
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