ULEMCo is converting two refuse collection vehicles and five Ford Transits operated by Fife Council to run on its dual-fuel hydrogen-diesel technology.

The system was being showcased at last week's Low Carbon Vehicle 2015 event at Millbrook, and was developed through the Levenmouth Community Energy Project (see below) - which has an aim for the region to become home to one of Europe's largest fleets of hydrogen dual-fuel vehicles, including rubbish trucks.

By replacing significant quantities of disel in the vehicle's refuse collection duty cycle with low-carbon hydrogen produced locally in Levenmouth, the cost of fuel is expected to reduce.

ULEMCo said dramatic savings in CO2 are also expected, with the vehicles providing evidence of the opportunity for delivering improved local air quality in urban areas.

The company has had previous experience in converting light commercial vehicles to hydrogen fuel, but this is the first project involving an HGV chassis it has undertaken.

ULEMCO said it is "excited that the benefits of hydrogen fuel are being recognised in a very practical real-life application", where significant user experience will be gained by the vehicle operators.

"It's great to see the expansion of hydrogen refuelling capability in the UK," said Amanda Lyne, CEO of ULEMCo. "Particularly so as this site is part of a community effort linked to renewables - saving significant levels of CO2 in a diverse range of practical applications. We believe that for these types of vehicle there are few options available today to dramatically address improved emissions, and look forward to delivering thesee conversions to the project partners."

Levenmouth project details

The Levenmouth Consortium is led by Bright Green Hydrogen. It aims to address some of Scotland’s most pressing energy issues: the provision of low carbon transport; and energy storage. The Hydrogen Office uses locally produced green electricity from its wind turbine (750kW) to produce green hydrogen by electrolysis; this is to be supplemented by solar electricity.

It is intended that increased hydrogen production will fuel the largest fleet of hydrogen-powered vehicles in the UK. The transport element will involve the development and installation of two low-cost modular refuelling points on the site, a hydrogen dispenser at Bankhead and the purchase/operation of hydrogen fuelled vehicles.

In addition stored hydrogen will be used to provide the business park with a source of zero carbon electricity through a private wire network. This is achieved through a fuel cell, when there is little or no wind/solar power available. This reduces the strain on the local grid, increases the community’s ability to make use of this energy and greatly reduces the carbon emissions associated with the local energy system.

Proceeds from the sale of green hydrogen and electricity will be deployed in the community to alleviate fuel poverty and improve local transport services.

Visit the project website to find out more