The site is part of the University of Sheffield Innovation District, and close to the M1 motorway and public transport links. It is approximately two miles from the Group’s existing Gigafactory and Technology Centre at Bessemer Park.

The land has outline planning consent and a full design brief agreed with the City Council. The acquisition is subject to the grant of full planning permission for the new factory.

As set out at the time of the recent fundraise, ITM intends to build a second automated factory of some 260,000 square foot on the site with a capacity of 1.5 GW pa and currently expected to be fully operational by the end of 2023 to complement the existing 1 GW pa capacity at Bessemer Park.

The new factory will provide the template for the group’s first international facility, which is expected to have a capacity of 2.5 GW pa, expected to bring total Group electrolyser capacity to 5 GW per annum by the end of 2024. One of the key features of the second UK factory will be an enlarged power supply to test multiple modules of the Company’s next generation product concurrently.

The overall cost of the new Sheffield factory is expected to be in the region of £50-55m. In addition to the land cost of £13.4m, the Company is currently allocating up to £16m for the construction of the shell, and a further £20-25m for the fit-out and power supply.

The new factory will also include office space for manufacturing staff and will be a low environmental impact building, using the best of current low carbon technologies. ITM Power will work closely with a developer, to be appointed once planning permission has been received, to incorporate low carbon footprint materials and facilities.

At the COP26 Regional Roadshow – Accelerating a decarbonised South Yorkshire economy, being held later today at ITM Power’s Gigafactory at Bessemer Park, Dr Graham Cooley and Professor Dave Petley will launch a collaboration between the company and the University of Sheffield.

At the heart of the collaboration is an intention to jointly develop a plan and apply for funding for a National Hydrogen Research, Innovation and Skills Centre, to be located at the University of Sheffield Innovation District (neighbouring ITM Power’s proposed new site).

The initial focus of the collaboration will be the development of research, innovation and skills for the hydrogen sector, which is expected to include research into the safe and efficient manufacture of hydrogen using renewable energy and/or nuclear power production, research into product life cycle analysis as well as recycling and recovery of system components, research into improving hydrogen system manufacturing processes and research into the development use of digital twins and virtual reality tools (as already in use with ITM Power) to enhance manufacturing and after sales maintenance activities.

In addition, the collaboration will study the creation of new jobs at all levels in the hydrogen sector as well as continuing career training and the promotion of hydrogen domestically and internationally.

Dr Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM Power, said: "I am delighted to be working more closely with the University of Sheffield and delighted that our second UK factory site is in Sheffield. Both initiatives will support the local economy through job creation and supply chain support.

“The planning and construction of our second, 1.5 GW capacity, factory marks the next step on delivering our strategic plan to create a blueprint for an automated PEM electrolyser manufacturing facility to be rolled out internationally. At the same time we are also focussed on increasing utilisation and throughput at our Bessemer Park Gigafactory as we prepare for the next step change in capacity.”

Professor Dave Petley, vice president for innovation at the University of Sheffield, said: "The University of Sheffield has world renowned expertise in energy innovation, and we recently announced a new Sustainable Aviation Fuels Innovation Centre, adjacent to our Translational Energy Research Centre, both housed at the University of Sheffield Innovation District.

"Our experience in bringing together academic research and industrial expertise is helping to solve the world’s biggest problems, and our partnership with ITM Power to advance the hydrogen sector will help make net zero a reality.”