- Companies have signed a cooperation agreement
Uniper—one of the largest power producers in Europe—will work together with energy service provider EWE in the future to set up a hydrogen hub in Huntorf, Lower Saxony.
Both companies have recently signed an agreement to this effect. It states that they plan to generate hydrogen using renewable energy (wind power) in Huntorf, store it there and create transport facilities to make it available to industry and the mobility sector.
“With Uniper operating a Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) power plant at the Huntorf site and EWE running a cavern storage facility for natural gas in the immediate vicinity, the project is perfectly set up to succeed in terms of location,” says EWE CEO Stefan Dohler. In the future, cavern storage facilities could also be used for hydrogen storage, and existing natural gas pipelines could transport hydrogen. EWE is currently gaining extensive experience by participating in various projects, for example the HyCavMobil research project on the use of salt caverns for hydrogen storage. HyWays For Future is already the first market for green hydrogen in the transport sector.
The site’s potential for expansion is currently estimated at up to 300 MW, with the individual expansion stages focused on hydrogen sales volume. As the project develops, one point of focus will be ensuring that the cooperating parties interact closely with hydrogen customers and their projects on site. By mid-decade, the project may have already seen its first customers be supplied with hydrogen.
“The partnership also benefits from Uniper’s experience in constructing and operating electrolysis plants and marketing hydrogen. Furthermore, Uniper has the grid connection capacity needed to integrate the electrolyzers that are key to producing hydrogen into the grid. The unique storage power plant is already connected to the grid via two high-voltage power lines that lead to the wind-rich regions toward the northwest and northeast,” says Uniper CEO Klaus-Dieter Maubach.
The cooperation between Uniper and EWE at the Huntorf site also offers the possibility of using hydrogen in highly efficient CAES in the future. This means we can already start making the necessary preparations for solving the “Dunkelflaute problem” in the future energy system, which will be predominantly based on fluctuating renewable power generation.
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