Energy giants SSE and Equinor will join forces to build two new low-emission power stations on Humberside, continuing the recent stream of investment into the north-east.
Under the proposals, one of the power stations will be fuelled by natural gas but fitted with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to remove its emissions.
The other will be the world’s first 100 per cent hydrogen-fuelled power station, with enough capacity to provide a third of the UK’s target of 5 gigawatts of hydrogen-generated electricity by 2030.
SSE and Equinor said that the projects, which remain under development, had the potential to create thousands of green jobs in the region.
The north-east is central to the government’s plans to achieve net zero emissions from 2050, with a number of high profile projects already announced.
Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “The Humber region is at the heart of our commitment to tackle climate change and is already on the frontline of developing vital clean technologies which will change the way people’s homes and businesses are powered while slashing emissions.
“This new partnership will ensure that world-first technology is being developed in Scunthorpe and across the Humber, creating green jobs and bringing new investment which will benefit local communities and businesses – revitalising this industrial heartland as the UK builds back greener.”
Stephen Wheeler, managing director of SSE Thermal, said: “These projects would play a major role in decarbonising the UK’s flexible generation capacity, while supporting a green economic recovery in the Humber.
“By utilising cutting-edge carbon capture and hydrogen solutions, we can decarbonise power generation, heavy industry and hard-to-reach sectors of the economy, which will be essential in both achieving net zero emissions and ensuring a just transition for workers and communities.”
Both facilities could be online by the end of the decade, the firms said. Final investment decisions will depend on how the UK’s carbon capture and hydrogen policies develop.