White Summit Capital, an infrastructure investor specialized in energy transition; CCI, a global energy commodities firm and the majority owner of Bizkaia Energía; Nortegas, the 2nd largest gas distribution company in Spain; Bizkaia Energía, the direct owner of the Amorebieta-Boroa CCGT plant; and SENER, leading Spanish engineering, and technology group, will launch the first green hydrogen plant that benefits from the infrastructure of a conventional power generation plant and the national distribution gas network in Amorebieta (Biscay).
The project will develop a 20 MW green hydrogen plant on the existing gas and electricity infrastructure of the Amorebieta-Boroa CCGT plant. The objective is to generate 1,500 tons of green hydrogen per year from 100% renewable sources, through Certificates of Origin (CO) and green Power Purchase Agreements (PPA), which will avoid the emission of more than 12,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.
A portion of the green hydrogen generated will be used in Bizkaia Energía’s CCGT plant – next to which the new hydrogen project will be located – in order to reduce the CO2 emissions of the conventional power generation technology. In addition, the hydrogen will be injected into Nortegas’ current distribution network, where it will be blended with natural gas, decarbonizing part of the current power consumption.
This hydrogen could also be used to some extent, to meet specific H2 supply needs of the local industry, and to store liquid H2 through chemical carriers.
Finally, an H2 refuelling station will be installed to fulfil the requirements of local public-private fleets of hydrogen-powered heavy vehicles.
Thanks to the strategic location of the plant, and to the competitive advantages provided by the project, part of the H2 production could be exported or monetized by selling Certificates of Origin to other European countries. The projects, which will be developed through an innovative digital twin model, is the first of its kind for the development of hydrogen as a sustainable energy source and will be key in the decarbonization process of the Spanish energy sector. For this purpose, the project will commit an initial investment of €50 million and is expected to reach start of operations by the end of 2022 due to the use of existing infrastructure. The intention is to scale-up the project to 200 MW by 2030, implying a total investment of €300 million.
The plant will also generate sustainable employment in the region by giving Boroa’s current facilities a future beyond conventional power generation.
Green hydrogen, a lever for decarbonization
This project enhances the commitment of these companies to promote the development of renewable gas as a key energy source in the energy transition. Identified as a lever for the decarbonization process by the European Commission and the Spanish Government, the research and projects around hydrogen are presented as an outstanding opportunity to take advantage of its benefits for the power generation.
Green hydrogen is obtained from electricity produced by renewable energy sources and, thus is 100% clean and emission-free energy as it only releases water steam after combustion. Some of its main features are its versatility since it can be used for residential and industrial purposes, as well as its convenient storage and transportation features, enabling it to be used without any degradation at different points in time and places than those when and where it was first obtained. Additionally, it is not necessary to build an alternative infrastructure for distribution, since distribution companies such as Nortegas, can be used to distribute hydrogen, facilitating its development and expansion with maximum use of existing infrastructure.
Projects such as the one in the Amorebieta CCGT plant promote Spain’s role as a key player in the production and use of green hydrogen in Europe.