The UK’s first public access hydrogen refuelling station has been opened by energy storage and clean fuel company ITM Power at the Advanced Manufacturing Park, just off the M1, Junction 33 in South Yorkshire, funded by InnovateUK.

During the event ITM Power also announced an agreement to deploy a Solar Hydrogen Refuelling Station at The Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence (CEME) on the A13, Rainham, London, which will open to the public in second quarter of next year.

The launch was supported by Hyundai, Toyota, and Honda which brought their fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) - the Hyundai Ix35, the Toyota Mirai, the Honda FCX Clarity - for visitors to experience.

The site consists of a 225kW wind turbine coupled directly to an electrolyser, 220kg of hydrogen storage, a hydrogen dispensing unit and a 30kW fuel cell system capable of providing back-up power generation for nearby buildings. The facility has been upgraded as a showcase for ITM Power’s hydrogen generation equipment and is used to provide retail hydrogen fuel services. The M1 motorway was highlighted as a key route for the early deployment of hydrogen refuelling in the UK in the UK H2Mobility Phase 1 Report.

The station currently offers hydrogen gas at 350bar and will be upgraded early in 2016 to provide hydrogen at 700bar as a result of funding from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV). This will provide fuel cell vehicles with a longer range of between 350 – 400 miles and extend the reach of clean emission transportation in South Yorkshire to hydrogen refuelling stations elsewhere in the UK, including London.

Jon Hunt, Manager, Toyota & Lexus Fleet Marketing, Toyota (GB) PLC said: “Toyota are delighted to congratulate and join ITM Power at the opening of the new M1 refuelling station. A project that will support the October launch into the UK of our new Mirai, the world’s first dedicated mass produced hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle.”

Tony Whitehorn, Hyundai Motor UK CEO, commented: “It is very encouraging indeed that the UK’s hydrogen filling station infrastructure is developing. We welcome this ultra-green new site in the north of England, which will serve a very large area and is clearly one of the most advanced sites ever constructed. Hydrogen-powered cars are the future and Hyundai is a leader in the field. This new self-sufficient filling station is exactly what’s needed.”

Thomas Brachmann, chief project engineer, Honda R&D Europe (Deutschland), on behalf of Honda Motor Europe, said: “Honda is pleased to support the opening of ITM Power’s new hydrogen refuelling station for public access on the M1. As a company Honda has been at the forefront of the introduction of fuel cell electric vehicles, and we are enthusiastic to see refuelling infrastructure being deployed that especially includes on-site production of hydrogen from renewable sources of energy.”

Graham Cooley, CEO, ITM Power, commented: “We are extremely pleased to be launching the first of the company’s hydrogen refuelling stations, at this very accessible location off the M1 in South Yorkshire, and to provide clean fuel for the fuel cell electric vehicles that are now available from the auto OEMs. Following the strategic forecourt siting agreement last week with Shell, this station will provide important reference for demystifying the ability to utilise renewable energy supply for its efficient conversion to clean fuel for clean transport emissions, that is enabled by ITM’s rapid response PEM electrolyser platform and the super impressive performance of fuel cell electric cars.”

Referring to the deal for the Solar Hydrogen Refuelling Station, Bill Williams CEO, CEME, commented: “As London’s Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence CEME is excited to welcome this agreement with ITM. A technology leading solar hydrogen refuelling station is great news for East London.”