Translink buys its first hydrogen-fuelled buses

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Three hydrogen-fuelled Streetdecks are to join the Translink fleet in Belfast, after a £4m investment

Northern Irish public transport operator Translink has ordered its first hydrogen buses, in what it says is a first step towards investing in zero-carbon technology, combatting climate change and improving air quality, the BBC has reported.

£4m is being invested in three new buses for the pilot project, built by Wrightbus in Ballymena, with support from the government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles. The hydrogen is produced by windfarm operator and consortium partner Energia, whilst Edinburgh-based clean energy solutions provider Logan Energy will supply and operate the hydrogen fuelling station in Belfast.

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said the pilot project represented “a significant first step to tackling the climate emergency. It demonstrates how working together and as individuals we can play our part in delivering the ambitions of the Northern Ireland executive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality,”

Translink Chief Executive Chris Conway told the BBC the operator intends to trial fully-electric vehicles next year. “This is about investing for the future and making sure we select the right technologies for the different routes we have across the network,” he said.

Bill Ireland, CEO of Logan Energy, said: “We are pleased to have been chosen as the hydrogen partner of choice for this significant project in Belfast. The refuelling station we intend to supply will be our largest capacity yet and will be the first one intended for the refuelling of double-decker buses. Our role in this project will be extremely valuable in building on our already extensive experience of delivering hydrogen refuelling stations across the UK and Europe.”

Peter Baillie, Managing Director of Energia Renewables, added: “Energia is proud to be driving the transition to a lower-carbon future with our hydrogen production project. When the wind energy our turbines produce exceeds demand, rather than curtailing the electricity, we will be producing green hydrogen. The pilot project on our wind farm is supported by the international consortium, GenComm, with funding from the EU’s Interreg programme.

Together, we are keen to see the development of hydrogen infrastructure in Northern Ireland.”