Highways depots could soon be powered using green hydrogen, thanks to a new collaboration between Kier and Protium, a green Hydrogen Energy Services Company.
Kier is working with Protium to conduct a feasibility study, which will explore how hydrogen and fuel cell technologies can complement other renewable energy sources, to fuel existing fleet, depots and equipment in the highways business.
The study will look at the environmental, technical and financial benefits of using hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, and how this can help Kier Highways achieve its target of being net-zero in its scope 1&2 operational emissions by 2030.
The feasibility study is due to be completed in summer 2023 and will aim to create a blueprint for future net-zero depots.
Matt Tompsett, head of environment and sustainability at Kier Highways, said: “We will need a mix of renewable green fuels to achieve net zero and deliver our services in the future.
“Whilst we are focusing heavily on other renewables and electric vehicles for smaller fleet, working with Protium will help us to understand how hydrogen will play a role in the future of highways construction and maintenance.
“We’re excited to progress our hydrogen journey with one of the UK’s leading green hydrogen energy companies and I look forward to seeing the results of the study and then understanding how we can progress our hydrogen use in the Highways business.”
The feasibility study will examine how green hydrogen could be used for things like heating and lighting.
It will also focus on heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), such as gritters, as Kier Highways strives to achieve its net-zero targets via its fleet, which contributes to the majority of its scope 1&2 emissions.
Kier Highways has an ambition to electrify small fleet, whilst focusing on hydrogen for HGVs.
Chris Jackson, CEO and founder of Protium, said: “We are delighted to be working with Kier Highways to support its ambitions towards a net-zero future.
“As a company that today keeps over 21,000 km of strategic road network and local roads flowing for the 279.6 billion vehicle miles, Kier Highways is front and centre among UK businesses that are trying to address the challenge of delivering a net zero future for the UK transportation sector.
“Developing solutions in partnerships allows both parties to support their shared goals of a lower carbon future for the UK.”
Preparation for the feasibility study is already underway with an assessment of fleet make up and mileage.