Osborne Clarke Bristol team helps power-up major green hydrogen joint venture

June 14, 2023

Lawyers in the Bristol office of international legal firm Osborne Clarke have advised on a major deal to develop green hydrogen projects in the UK as interest in the alternative fuel source continues its rapid growth.

The team advised London-headquartered sustainability-led investor Foresight on its involvement in a new electrolytic hydrogen joint venture with Norwegian group Statkraft, Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy, and Gloucestershire-based low carbon engineering consultancy Progressive Energy. 

Called Grenian Hydrogen, the project has launched with an initial development portfolio of 200MWe (million watts of electric capacity) across seven projects in the North West and North Wales – 100MWe of which are already in the engineering and consenting phase.

Grenian, which will provide electrolyser technology for the initial projects, aims to offer a bankable solution to major manufacturers seeking to switch away from natural gas to decarbonise operations using hydrogen.

Its flagship 30MWe Cheshire Green Hydrogen (CGH) project has already been shortlisted by the government for a 15-year Low Carbon Hydrogen Agreement (LCHA). 

Osborne Clarke Bristol-based corporate team partner Chris Yeo, pictured, said: “We’re delighted to have supported Foresight on this transaction, and we hope to see Grenian play a key part in facilitating the UK’s transition to a low carbon future.”

Foresight partner Chris Holmes added: “The UK’s Hydrogen Strategy and the recent Powering Up Britain announcements, through their combination of policy initiatives, have now accelerated the critical role that green hydrogen will play in the next phase of the UK’s energy transition.

“This presents an opportunity for Grenian Hydrogen to deliver a much-needed low carbon solution for UK businesses and households.”

Green hydrogen is widely viewed as having the potential to decarbonise the economy, providing sustainable fuel for transport, including aviation, as well as power for homes and businesses.

The West of England is being positioned as a possible global leader in hydrogen research and development.

As reported by Bristol Business News last week, major report has concluded harnessing the power of hydrogen could create up to 40,000 jobs and safeguard a further 60,000 across a region stretching from Swansea to Swindon.

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