Leeds Bradford submits proposals for new energy hub

The airport hopes to be the first in the UK to produce its own hydrogen to power its vehicle fleet

Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) plans to become the first gateway in the UK to produce its own hydrogen after partnering with ITM Power – a leading company within the sector.

Proposals for the airport’s energy hub would see that hydrogen and rapid EV charging facilities are utilised to power its vehicle fleet. The facility also plans on fuelling the next generation of hydrogen powered handling vehicles.

Leeds Bradford Airport
Photo Leeds Bradford Airport 

The hydrogen company has 20 years’ experience within the field and in January, opened the world’s largest electrolyser factory in Sheffield.

According to Charles Johnson, head of development at Leeds Bradford Airport, the new project “represents a significant investment in the sustainable future of the airport.

“This initiative is the first of many that form part of our replacement terminal plans, which will have a direct impact on businesses and the economy in Yorkshire. We believe that LBA has a big role to play in the long-term future of the region and we have the perfect opportunity to lead on creating meaningful changes to infrastructure.”

ITM Power currently operates eight stations for the production of green hydrogen, making it the largest operator of hydrogen refuelling stations in the UK. This provides heavy duty vehicles and cars with zero-carbon fuel – complementing the use of battery electric vehicles for shorter journeys.

The new project has been combined with the airport’s current application for a replacement terminal. If the works can proceed, construction for the energy hub could begin in 2022.

It is also expected the construction of the replacement terminal will create more jobs.

“If approved, the development will protect and create new, high-skilled jobs, supporting 12,650 permanent positions, and increase the airport’s contribution to the region’s economy from £377 million (2019) to £869 million,” said Duncen Yellen, MD at ITM Power.