Kier is working with Protium, a green hydrogen energy services company, to explore how hydrogen and fuel cell technologies can complement other renewable energy sources, to fuel existing fleet, depots and equipment in its highways business. It will look at the environmental, technical and financial benefits of using hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.
The study is expected to be completed in summer 2023 and will aim to create a blueprint for future net-zero depots. This includes everything from the heating and lighting to heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) such as gritters.
It is Kier Highways’s fleet that contributes most of its scope 1&2 carbon emissions. Its ambition is to run an electric small fleet, while focusing on hydrogen for HGVs.
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 company 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.”
Protium founder and chief executive Chris Jackson said: “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 has begun with an assessment of fleet make-up and mileage.