AECC project welcomes hydrogen cell milestone

THE UK’s largest hydrogen fuel cell installation has arrived at the new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC), which is currently being built by Robertson.

The cells, which will deliver “clean, sustainable and reliable” energy for the facility, will have a total electrical output of 1.4MW. Doosan Babcock has supplied three cells which will provide heat and power for the 150-acre site.

The AECC project is being delivered by Aberdeen City Council and its development partner, Henry Boot Developments. The centre, which is due to open in 2019, has been tipped to generate 600 new jobs during the construction phase. Over the next 10 years, the facility is expected to deliver a significant boost to the economy by contributing an additional 4.5 million visitors and £113 million of visitor spend.

Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Councillor Jenny Laing said, “The arrival of the hydrogen fuel cells at the new AECC is another great step forward for the development and is part of our ongoing commitment to use green technologies at the site. The fuel cells are building on Aberdeen City Council’s Hydrogen Strategy and enhances the city’s reputation for energy innovation including renewable and low carbon energy.”

Nick Harris, Scottish director at Henry Boot Developments added, “The energy centre is just one example of how this flagship project is harnessing the latest technology to ensure the new AECC will be one of the most outstanding, modern and sustainable venues in the UK.

“The energy centre is a hybrid combined cooling, heating and power (CCHP) installation, which will provide the venue and hotels with heat, power and cooling, while delivering greater efficiency and environmental benefits.”

Derek Shewan, chief operating officer for main contractor Robertson Group said, “The energy centre provides the new facility with incredibly strong green credentials. The construction works are coming along nicely with the ground slabs already poured and the pre-cast wall panels complete. With the fuel cells now installed, the roofing and cladding are continuing apace.”