Wrightbus, a renowned bus manufacturer, has inked a significant deal with Sizewell C. This collaboration has the potential to establish one of the largest hydrogen bus fleets globally, with up to 150 hydrogen-powered buses slated to operate on the Sizewell C site.
Sizewell C, a new nuclear power station under construction, has taken the first step by ordering four Hydroliners from the Northern Ireland-based manufacturer. These buses will undergo testing to determine their suitability for transporting the thousands of workers involved in the power station's construction, located near Leiston, Suffolk.
The Streetdeck Hydroliners represent a cleaner alternative to traditional diesel- or petrol-powered vehicles, as they rely on hydrogen fuel, which produces no carbon emissions. The success of this pilot scheme will play a pivotal role in the decision to expand the fleet. Delivery of the four buses for the pilot is expected in early 2024, marking a milestone as they become among the first hydrogen buses to operate in Suffolk.
Julia Pyke, joint managing director of Sizewell C, emphasized the station's commitment to reducing carbon emissions, stating, “Once it starts generating, Sizewell C will be one of the biggest generators of low carbon electricity in the country. Our plans for hydrogen buses show we are determined that the construction of the power station will also be as clean as possible.”
Furthermore, Pyke highlighted the potential benefits of a hydrogen fleet, stating, “A hydrogen fleet will lower our carbon emissions and reduce the impact of workforce transport on local communities. At the same time, I am excited that we will potentially kickstart a market for this important low-carbon fuel in the East of England.”
Jean-Marc Gales, chief executive of Wrightbus, expressed enthusiasm for the partnership, stating, “We are delighted to be working with Sizewell C on this pilot, and the fact that it could lead to a fleet of up to 150 hydrogen buses is testament to the potential hydrogen has for both passenger transport and construction sites. We continue to invest in hydrogen technology as a driver to developing cleaner, more efficient transport solutions.”
This initiative extends beyond passenger transport, as Sizewell C aims to pioneer the use of hydrogen-powered equipment on large construction sites. A consortium led by Wrightbus's sister company, Ryze, has secured over £3 million in government funding to test a mobile hydrogen refueling system. This project promises to advance the adoption of hydrogen as a clean and efficient energy source in various sectors.