AN East Renfrewshire windfarm will soon become home to a state-of-the-art hydrogen storage facility which could eventually produce enough clean energy to help power the next generation of public transport.

Nearly £10million in taxpayers' cash has been awarded to the project, based at the Whitelee Windfarm, near Eaglesham, by the UK Government to help develop the country's largest electrolyser – a system which converts water to hydrogen.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Hands said: "This first-of-a-kind hydrogen facility will put Scotland at the forefront of plans to make the UK a world-leading hydrogen economy, bringing green jobs while also helping to decarbonise local transport."

The £9.4m cash boost will see production at the facility, developed by ITM Power and BOC, in conjunction with ScottishPower's Hydrogen division, eventually reach between two-and-a-half and four tonnes of the gas a day.

The hydrogen generated will be used to support local transport providers with zero-carbon fuel and the facility is expected to make so much that, once stored, it could provide the equivalent of enough zero-carbon fuel for 225 buses travelling to and from Glasgow to Edinburgh each day.

Splitting water and capturing the released hydrogen requires energy and the project will use power from the windfarm, the largest onshore farm in the UK, to create the gas.

Barry Carruthers, director of ScottishPower Hydrogen, said: "This blend of renewable electricity generation and green hydrogen production promises to highlight the multiple ways in which society can decarbonise by using these technologies here and now."

Alister Jack, Secretary of State for Scotland, said the project shows "how serious the UK Government is about supporting projects that will see us achieve net zero by 2050."

"In the weeks following COP26 in Glasgow, it has never been more important to champion projects like this one, which embrace new hydrogen technology while creating highly-skilled jobs," he added.

"We can, and will, achieve a greener, cleaner future."