BIG HIT Building Innovative Green Hydrogen Systems in Isolated Territories (Orkney Islands, Scotland)

Project Project financed by the European Community

Project requirement “off-grid” energy production and storage

Type and volume Orcadi Islands Territory


  • Funded by the European Community
  • Start: June 2016 - Duration: 5 years
  • Energy production from renewable sources (wind turbines)
  • Hydrogen production and storage
  • Hydrogen heating system: 12 Giacomini hydrogen boilers for two school buildings (6 boilers for each building)
  • Hydrogen transport to main island
  • Hydrogen supply station for cars
  • Electric energy production with fuel-cell system


BIG HIT will create a hydrogen territory in the  Orkney Islands of Scotland by implementing a fully integrated model of hydrogen production, storage, transportation and utilization for heat, power and mobility.

Twelve partners from Denmark, France, Italy, Malta, Spain and the UK are participating in this collaborative project.

BIG HIT will demonstrate the Orkney Islands of Scotland as a replicable Hydrogen Territory, using curtailed renewable energy generated locally to produce hydrogen (by two big electrolysers) which can then be used as a clean energy vector to store and use valuable energy for local applications.

BIG HIT will demonstrate use of hydrogen as a flexible local energy store and vector, transporting hydrogen by tube trailer to the Orkney mainland. Here it will be used to demonstrate real end-use applications for hydrogen including auxiliary power and heat for ferries in Kirkwall harbour, fuelling a fleet of hydrogen range-extended light vehicles, and heating for buildings in the Kirkwall area. Twelve Giacomini hydrogen boilers will be installed for heating two school buildings.

The learning from BIG HIT about the benefits of using hydrogen with renewable energy sources in the Orkney Islands will support the much wider replication and further deployments of renewable energy with fuel cell & hydrogen technologies in isolated or constrained territories.