Helen Invests in Helsinki’s First Green Hydrogen Production Facility

By April 3, 2024 4   min read  (625 words)

April 3, 2024 |

2024 04 02 18 12 11 2

Helen is building a green hydrogen production facility in Vuosaari, Helsinki. This is Helen’s first hydrogen project, which enables the company to create the necessary expertise to meet the needs of large-scale hydrogen production and increase the flexibility of the entire energy system. It is also the first green hydrogen production facility to be built in Helsinki.

The 3H2 pilot plant, Helsinki Hydrogen Hub, has an output of approximately three megawatts. The primary use of hydrogen produced shall be built in connection with the plant, in particular hydrogen refuelling station for heavy traffic. In addition, hydrogen can be supplied with containers to customers. The plant is located near the Helsinki district heating network and the busy Vuosaari port. The waste heat generated in the production process is utilised in Helen’s district heating network, which means that the plant has a total energy efficiency of more than 90 per cent.

“The 3H2 project is the first of its kind in the world to combine four different sectors: electricity, transport, heating and hydrogen, and flexibility between them. For Helen, hydrogen is an essential part of our new strategy and we are committed to investing in the development of hydrogen business. We are excited to build Helsinki’s first green hydrogen production facility,” says Sari Mannonen, Helen’s Senior Vice President, New Business Administration and Wateriness.

The aim is to start hydrogen production at a new facility in 2026 and to open a refueling station in 2027. The project reduces carbon dioxide emissions by more than 3,700 tonnes per year. The calculation takes into account the reimbursement of fossil fuel in heavy traffic and the utilisation of waste heat in district heating networks. The project has been granted EUR 8.25 million in investment support for large demonstration projects in new energy technology at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. In addition, EUR 292,500 Environmental cub has been used for containers for hydrogen storage and transfer.

Green hydrogen is produced with renewable electricity emission-free

At 3H2, hydrogen is produced by renewable electricity, resulting in zero emissions. Traditional hydrogen, made from fossil fuels, emits significant carbon dioxide emissions. Reducing emissions makes green hydrogen an interesting alternative, especially for heavy traffic, but also for other sectors that are difficult to electrify.

This is the world’s first hydrogen project to be a seamless part of optimising a total energy system for society in the electricity, heat, transport and hydrogen markets, as well as a solution to the flexibility of the energy system. In addition, waste heat from hydrogen production will be utilised in Helsinki’s district heating network, which means that energy efficiency is significantly better than other projects to date.

Helen Invests in Helsinkis First Green Hydrogen Production FacilityThe aim of the project is to test green hydrogen production and optimise production for hydrogen demand, renewable electricity production and electricity markets. In addition, we will use it to ensure the functionality of new hydrogen technologies. An important objective is also to maximise energy efficiency and to increase the flexibility of the energy system.

Helen has announced its intention to start large-scale hydrogen production after a pilot plant in the Vuosaari power plant area. In addition, we have launched preliminary studies to develop industrial hydrogen valley in Uusimaa together with Neste Corporation, Gasgrid Finland Oy and Vantaan Energia Oy.

Our goal is carbon-neutral energy production by 2030. We are also planning to phase out burning by 2040. Our electricity production already consists mainly of wind, solar, hydro and nuclear power, and in heat production we are constantly increasing the amount of sustainable bioenergy, heat pumps and electric boilers using waste and environmental heat. Hydrogen will also be an essential part of a sustainable energy system.

Photos: Architects Office Virkkunen & Co

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