The Outer Hebrides Local Energy Hub (OHLEH) is a multi-sector partnership comprising the Scottish Salmon Company (SSC), Pure Energy Centre, Community Energy Scotland, and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (CnES). The project was supported by Local Energy Scotland through the Scottish Government’s Local Energy Challenge Fund.

Project lead: Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

Project partners: Community Energy Scotland, PURE, Scottish Salmon Company

Area: Western Isles

Main technology: Circular economies, hydrogen, CHP, AD

Grant award:  £ 605,146.38

The Outer Hebrides Local Energy Hub is a prime example of the circular economies approach to local energy. The project aims to use fish waste from the local food processing plant, feed this into an anaerobic digestor, use the resulting biogas in a CHP unit, combine the output power with energy from a local turbine to power a hydrogen electrolyser, use the resulting oxygen to feed salmon, and the hydrogen to power a fuel cell CHP which would provide heat and power to the salmon hatchery. Finally the hatchery then adds waste to the original fish waste – and the cycle continues!

The project is combining existing equipment with new to close the loop and use the local opportunities more efficiently.

What makes the project innovative?

The project is innovative in a number of the specific components of the overall approach, as well as the general concept being at the forefront of circular economies thinking.

The Local Energy Hub would provide a demonstration of a community-led hydrogen project and is an excellent example of using waste products as a heat and power fuel. This adds a value to materials that would otherwise be treated as waste and dealt with at a cost.

OHLEH won the Partnership Scotland Award at the VIBES Awards 2019. The VIBES Awards reward, showcase and sustain environmental good practice in Scottish businesses.

You can also read more about OHLEH here.

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