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ITM Power to open second gigafactory in Sheffield
ITM Power, the energy storage and clean fuel company, has announced its intention to acquire a £13.4m site from the University of Sheffield for the company’s second UK factory in Tinsley, Sheffield.
The site is part of the University of Sheffield Innovation District, close to the M1 motorway, and approximately 2 miles from ITM’s existing gigafactory and technology centre at Bessemer Park. The land has outline planning consent and a full design brief agreed with the City Council. The acquisition is subject to the grant of full planning permission for the new factory.
ITM Power designs and manufactures electrolysers that generate green hydrogen gas, based on Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) technology – this technology only uses renewable electricity and tap water to generate hydrogen gas
ITM intends to build a second automated factory of some 260,000 sq ft on the site, with a capacity of 1.5GW pa. It is currently expected to be fully operational by the end of 2023 to complement the existing 1GW pa capacity at Bessemer Park (pictured below). It is anticipated that the overall cost of the new Sheffield factory will be in the region of £50-55m. In addition to the land cost of £13.4m, the company is currently allocating up to £16m for the construction of the shell, and a further £20-25m for the fit-out and power supply.
The new factory will provide the template for the group’s first international facility, which is expected to have a capacity of 2.5GW pa, and to bring total group electrolyser capacity to 5GW per annum by the end of 2024. One of the key features of the second UK factory will be an enlarged power supply to test multiple modules of the company’s next generation product concurrently.
Dr Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM Power, said: “I am delighted to be working more closely with the University of Sheffield and delighted that our second UK factory site is in Sheffield. Both initiatives will support the local economy through job creation and supply chain support.
“The planning and construction of our second, 1.5GW capacity, factory marks the next step on delivering our strategic plan to create a blueprint for an automated PEM electrolyser manufacturing facility to be rolled out internationally. At the same time, we are also focussed on increasing utilisation and throughput at our Bessemer Park gigafactory as we prepare for the next step change in capacity.”
Professor Koen Lamberts, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: “We are very pleased to be launching this partnership with ITM Power. Hydrogen is one of the most exciting and promising clean energy solutions and ITM is at the forefront of green hydrogen manufacturing. This partnership is a milestone for both partners and the region in leading the way to achieving net zero through technological innovation.”
The new factory will also include office space for manufacturing staff and will be a low environmental impact building, using the best of current low carbon technologies. ITM Power will work closely with a developer, to be appointed once planning permission has been received, to incorporate low carbon footprint materials and facilities.