The site is to being at Spadeadam, Cumbria and will recreate a representative offline network. It is hoped that construction will begin in 2021 and tests will begin a year later.
Hydrogen blends up to 100% will be tested at transmission pressures to see how they perform.
Currently, 85% of homes and 40% of the UK’s power needs are supplied by gas.
Antony Green, project director for hydrogen at National Grid, says: “If we truly want to reach a net zero decarbonised future, we need to replace methane with green alternatives like hydrogen.
“Sectors such as heat are difficult to decarbonise, and the importance of the gas networks to the UK’s current energy supply means trial projects like this are crucial if we are to deliver low carbon energy, reliably and safely to all consumers.”
The £10m project is being run by National Grid, Northern Gas Networks and Fluxys Belguim, and will be delivered by DNV GL in partnership with the Universities of Durham and Edinburgh.