FutureGrid
FutureGrid is an ambitious programme which seeks to build a hydrogen test facility in Northern England

FutureGrid

In Gas Transmission, our journey to net zero focuses primarily on the ways that hydrogen could be used to replace natural gas, and is one of the most important economic, technical, and social challenges faced by the business.

Our FutureGrid project is the first of many steps towards a full-scale conversion of the existing National Transmission System (NTS) to transport hydrogen. The project involves constructing a test facility from decommissioned assets that will be used to carry out a wide range of hydrogen tests in an offline environment, to demonstrate its effect on our assets, as well as the operation of our network.

About the project

Through rigorous testing, the FutureGrid project will allow us to gain an understanding of how the gas network will need to be developed and operated, to deliver sufficient quantities of hydrogen to our customers, as well as what impact transporting hydrogen has on the ongoing maintenance of pipelines and other components that make up the NTS.

The aim of FutureGrid is to gain a full understanding of working with hydrogen, to develop processes and procedures – like those we currently have for natural gas – to allow us to run a safe and reliable national hydrogen network.

The main image on this page is copyright of DNV GL.
 

Contact us

If you have any questions or would like more information about the FutureGrid project please get in touch with the team:

Email FutureGrid

 

Our project partners

The scale and complexity of the net zero challenge is one of the reasons why the FutureGrid project puts great emphasis on cross-industry collaboration. The project itself has several contributing partners; DNV, Northern Gas Networks (NGN), HSE Science Division, Fluxys, Durham University and the University of Edinburgh.

Events and resources

Videos

Watch our videos to learn more about the FutureGrid project.

FutureGrid: exploring hydrogen as a fuel of the future

Introducing FutureGrid

FutureGrid Chat Podcasts

FutureGrid Chat is a podcast series that brings together key experts from around the business and wider industry to talk about some of the big questions in hydrogen and how FutureGrid supports this.

 All about the NTS: Kirsty McDermott (Senior Welding Engineer), Shaun Bosomworth (Senior Delivery Engineer) and Daniel Knowles (Hydrogen Engineer) discuss the characteristics of the National Transmission System (NTS), both now and in the future.

All about net zero policy: Tom Neal (FutureGrid Manager) talks to Malcolm Arthur (Net Zero Policy Manager) and Emily Ly (Senior Hydrogen Analyst) about the different published hydrogen strategies, what the key takeaways are and how we are preparing to deliver a Net Zero future.

The FutureGrid decommissioned assets: Shaun Bosomworth (Senior Delivery Engineer) and Steve Johnstone (Senior Innovation Specialist) discuss how the FutureGrid facility will replicate the National Transmission System (NTS) and where we’ve sourced the required equipment from.

The FutureGrid network: Jennifer Pemberton (Customer and Stakeholder Strategy Manager), Lloyd Mitchell (Hydrogen Engineer), Steve Johnstone (Senior Innovation Specialist) and Sarah Kimpton (Gas Quality Expert at DNV) discuss the FutureGrid project in detail and talk about the requirements of the network design.

FutureGrid Feature articles

FutureGrid Feature articles focus on specific topics relating to hydrogen and how our work on FutureGrid plays a key role.

Collaborating for FutureGrid and future gains: In this Feature article, we discuss the ways that collaboration is at the heart of the FutureGrid programme, and why it is so important.

Decarbonisation and net zero policy – what does it mean? In 2021, the UK government published several critical documents that will heavily influence the delivery of a net zero energy system. In this Feature article we talk about what this means for us and how we are responding to deliver a Net Zero future.

Getting hydrogen into homes: Tom Neal (FutureGrid Manager) discusses some of the challenges associated with hydrogen and how the FutureGrid project is working to understand what they mean for the future of the National Transmission System (NTS). 

Re-using our assets to prove the hydrogen future of our network:Decommissioned assets were steadily delivered to Spadeadam for use on our FutureGrid hydrogen test facility, ahead of construction starting.Find out more about the work carried out to get us to this point.

FutureGrid Explore webinars

FutureGrid Explore webinars and face-to-face events focus on key topics relating to the FutureGrid project. These interactive sessions allow stakeholders to learn more about the project and participate in relevant discussions.

Maintaining the NTS: This FutureGrid Explore webinar looks at the ways that we currently maintain the National Transmission System (NTS), and how FutureGrid will help us understand what future maintenance may look like.

FutureGrid progress report launch: Having started Phase 1 of the FutureGrid project back in April, we discuss what we’ve achieved so far, including completing the groundworks, sourcing the decommissioned assets to construct the facility and operating a number of standalone hydrogen tests.

Constructing the test facility: In this FutureGrid Explore webinar, we explained more about our phase one plans, the hydrogen testing we’ll undertake and our vision for future phases of the FutureGrid programme.

FutureGrid InFocus blogs

FutureGrid InFocus is a blog series, written by those working on the project, providing insights and updates on the progress of the project as it is happening

The different phases of FutureGrid:Find out more about how we plan to expand the FutureGrid programme to enhance our knowledge of transporting hydrogen across our network in the latest FutureGrid InFocus blog, written by Haroon Khan (FutureGrid Project Manager).

How will FutureGrid help us better understand future maintenance requirements? Find out more about some of the different types of operational maintenance and how we think this will need to change as we transition our network to carry hydrogen in the latest InFocus blog written by Daniel Knowles (Hydrogen Engineer).

How will FutureGrid build our hydrogen knowledge? As we begin to see results from the FutureGrid standalone test modules we can see how our existing natural gas assets behave in a pressurised hydrogen environment. Find out more about how the FutureGrid project is helping to build our hydrogen knowledge in this InFocus blog by Danial Harrison (Hydrogen Engineer).

What is the role of FutureGrid in net zero? It's easy to get lost in the detail on a wide-ranging project like FutureGrid, but we have to always keep an eye on the prize; how does what we’re doing help us achieve Net Zero? Find out more in this InFocus blog written by Lloyd Mitchell (Hydrogen Engineer)

Construction has started: Find out more about how the project is progressing as we commence the build phase in the InFocus blog written by Shaun Bosomworth.

Reaching our hydrogen future: Find out more about the FutureGrid project and the newly established team in the first InFocus blog written by Tom Neal (FutureGrid Manager).

Read our stories

Ofgem green-lights funding for net zero projects

Our FutureGrid project to test how we might safely introduce hydrogen into our gas network and a project to upgrade powerlines to deliver more power and less emissions have received £17.17m funding from Ofgem.

How can hydrogen be used as a fuel for the future?

Hydrogen is a clean and abundant alternative to methane, also known as natural gas. Here, we explain how hydrogen will be an essential element in our greener gas future.

World’s first hydrogen heated construction site

Helping to demonstrate how hydrogen can be the heating fuel of the future, our Viking Link project in Lincolnshire has become the first construction site in the world to use hydrogen cells for all its heat and power.

Hydrogen molecule atom abstract structure - 640x360.jpg

Hydrogen: Testing the heating fuel of the FutureGrid

To reach net zero by 2050, we need to find new ways to heat the UK’s homes and businesses. Hydrogen could be central to this and a new test facility will look at how hydrogen might work within the existing gas network.