HS2 Trials Hydrogen Charging at Euston Site

HS2 has introduced hydrogen power to its Euston site, with its construction team Mace Dragados Joint Venture trialling a hydrogen fuel cell to power a fully electric JCB telehandler.

Charging electric construction machinery with zero-exhaust-emission solutions at point of use provides a step forward in the decarbonisation of construction activities where mains supply is not possible.

Hydrogen fuel cell at HS2's Euston station site
Hydrogen fuel cell at HS2’s Euston station site

Supplied by AFC Energy, the unit known as the H-Power Tower is also being used to charge lighting towers and a water pump at the site of the future Euston HS2 terminus.

Proven benefits of the mobile solution have included the reduction of noise and capacity requirements from mains power.

Andrea Davidson, HS2’s Head of Environmental Sciences, said:

“HS2 is championing the use of environmentally friendly energy solutions across the project, and this is another great example of just that.

“Reducing the reliance on mains sources of power while still moving away from diesel generated power is critical for the UKs low carbon future.

“Trialling the use of hydrogen power to charge electric machines and for plant equipment as a whole will be a major step forward for the wider construction sector.”

This is the second of three alternative-fuel cell generators Mace Dragados JV has brought to the site this year in response to HS2’s push for contractors to find new, innovative methods of construction and power supply that are more environmentally-friendly.

Ben Wheeldon, Programme Director for Mace Dragados, said:

“By using the electricity generated by the AFC Energy’s unit to power a very visible piece of equipment that we use on site each and every day, we’re reminding our workforce of the need to put decarbonisation at the forefront of our industry’s thinking and encouraging them to bring their own innovative ideas to Euston.”

HS2 is also collaborating with the Construction Leadership Council to develop a Zero Diesel Site route map. The plan is currently out for consultation until 3 December.

HS2 Ltd did not say how the hydrogen used would be manufactured. The method by which the hydrogen is manufactured will determine how carbon-intensive that process is.

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