SaxaVord Spaceport Among the Partners in the GHOST Project

15th May 2023
SaxaVord Spaceport Among the Partners in the GHOST Project

It is possible that Shetland may soon produce hydrogen and oxygen to help fuel the space flights from the island, as energy developer Nova Innovation takes the lead on a project to explore production from its tidal projects.

The Green Hydrogen and Oxygen Supply from Tidal Energy (GHOST) has been backed by the Scottish Government. On 10th May, First Minister Humza Yousaf announced funding for 32 energy-related projects, including one to explore the production of hydrogen and oxygen on Shetland.

Potential Uses

GHOST sets out to explore applications for hydrogen and oxygen including heating, transport, and industrial uses including fuelling SaxaVord Spaceport on Unst. SaxaVord have joined the project in search for 100% renewable fuel for their rocket flights.

Nova are heading up the project, and besides SaxaVord the partners include Strathclyde University, Shetland Islands Council and green energy consultancy Ricardo. The first goal is to establish the potential market for the gases.

Oxygen is a by-product of hydrogen production but is not often embraced and used, but the GHOST project is built on the premise that it can be used by the spaceport.

The project will also look into tidal energy products around Yell which may be a source of hydrogen production via electrolysers. To the North of the island, Nova is already running the world’s first offshore tidal array.

The CEO of Nova, Simon Forrest, spoke about heading up the project:

“We are delighted to have won the Ghost project, which will enable us to explore the potential for producing green hydrogen and oxygen utilising tidal power.

“We believe green hydrogen will transform the energy industry and deliver huge benefits for the people of Shetland with heat and transport, as well as creating the possibility of green space flight.

“The study will provide us with valuable insights into the role of green hydrogen and oxygen across Shetland.”

Frank Strang from SaxaVord also threw his support behind the idea, as it was revealed that GHOST will be led by a steering group of companies involved in Shetland including SaxaVord, Cooke Aquaculture and Voar Energy.

Many influential figures in the industry believe hydrogen fuels are the key to a renewable future in the space industry, and the GHOST project explores Shetland’s potential to lead the way. 

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