The Cromarty Hydrogen Project would be located on land to the east of the Beinn Tharsuinn Windfarm, approximately 12 km north of Alness.

Location plan

Current stage

ScottishPower, on behalf of the Cromarty Hydrogen Project, has submitted a planning application under Section 32 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 for the proposed construction and operation of an electrolyser plant and ancillary infrastructure (the ‘Proposed Development’). ScottishPower is undertaking this project with their joint development partners Storegga.

Project background

This Proposed Development would form part of the North of Scotland Hydrogen Programme recognised in the Scottish Government’s Hydrogen Action Plan1 The North of Scotland Hydrogen Programme is a strategic programme in line with the Scottish Government’s resolve to achieve Net Zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2045 and the UK Government’s ambition by 2050. The programme is aimed at developing hydrogen production hubs across the North of Scotland to supply hydrogen, initially to meet industrial and heavy goods vehicle (HGV) transport demand in the near term and then expand to cater to additional hydrogen demands in the future.

The Cromarty Hydrogen Project is the first project in the Scotland Hydrogen Programme. It originated from a collaboration between the Port of Cromarty Firth, ScottishPower, Glenmorangie, Whyte & Mackay and Diageo and the project originator, Storegga during the feasibility stage. This project is looking to develop a green hydrogen production hub in the Cromarty Firth region and revolves around the local distilleries forming the baseload demand for early phases of the project, which would enable them to decarbonise in line with their own ambitions and sector targets.

Project History

Feasibility studies were undertaken in 2021 by the development partners to identify this area for development. Environmental surveys of the site and surrounding area were undertaken between Autumn 2021 and Summer 2023. Baseline data collected from these surveys and subsequent assessments have informed site selection and design evolution from a larger developable area.

Pre-application consultation with the Highland Council has been ongoing since Autumn 2021, including a formal pre-application advice meeting, which was held on 8 June 2022 for the Highland council and other key consultees to provide early indications of their view of the scheme.

Public consultation events were held in September and November 2022 at key stages in the development process to inform the public and other interested parties of emerging and final proposals and baseline environmental conditions and potential impacts. Comment and feedback on the Proposed Development was invited.

A request for a Screening Opinion from THC under The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017 was made in December 2022. A Screening Opinion was received in February 2023, which confirmed that an EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) is not required for the Proposed Development.

The Applicant has undertaken a suite of environmental appraisals based on the characteristics of the final indicative design and of the existing environment. These form part of the planning application supporting information, in addition to a Supporting Statement, Pre-application Consultation Report, Design and Access Statement, Transport Statement and Planning Statement.


Throughout the process the development partners have ensured that local communities and stakeholders have been given the opportunity to provide feedback and are kept informed.

During the pre-application stage, three hybrid (in-person and online) public events were held during September and November of 2022. The material from those events is available here.

On the 20 and 21 of November we held two in-person events at Ardross Community Hall, Ardross and Edderton Village Hall, Edderton. The material from those events is available below:

If you wish to make a formal representation, this should be made direct to the Highland Council.