Le 70 islands windswept (of which only 20 live for a total of 17 thousand inhabitants), have become one of Britain's leading centers for innovation in renewable energy, including the use of hydrogen as an energy carrier to accumulate wind and tidal production surpluses, which often generate more electricity than the local power grid can accept.
The island of Eday is home to the tide site of the European Marine Energy Center (EMEC) and has approx 200 residents, which they own altogether 900kW of wind turbines through the Eday Renewable company Energy.
In September 2017, the project was officially launched in Orkney Surf 'n' Tur led by Community Energy Scotland, in collaboration with the European Marine Energy Center (EMEC), Orkney Islands Council, Eday Renewable Energy and ITM Power.
Surf 'n' Turf supplies Eday's own wind turbine and EMEC with equipment to convert and store excess energy as hydrogen. The fuel cell (75kW) was the last part of the project and was delivered and installed by Arcola Energy in collaboration with the German Proton Motor. The hydrogen is compressed by the EMEC electrolyser, stored and transported to Kirkwall (capital of Orkney) where the fuel cell converts it into electricity to power the ferries docked at the dock. Eday's electrolysis plant became the first in the world to use tidal energy to produce hydrogen. But now you want to go a step further and use that hydrogen even more efficiently by directly powering the engine nine ferries that connect the 20 inhabited islands.