It’s been a great topic of discussion at ENGIE since 2021, and now it’s here! HyPSTER, the first renewable hydrogen storage demonstrator in a salt cavern, was officially inaugurated on September 15th. This highly anticipated project, supported by the European Union and the Clean Hydrogen Partnership, paves the way for the creation of an industrial sector for renewable hydrogen storage.
The HyPSTER demonstrator was officially inaugurated on September 15th in Etrez, near Bourg-en-Bresse. The ceremony was attended by Catherine MacGregor, CEO of ENGIE, Charlotte Roule, CEO of Storengy, Mirela Altanasiu, Interim Executive Director of the Clean Hydrogen Partnership, Virginie Grinola-Bernard, Mayor of Bresse-Vallons, and numerous elected officials and business leaders.
Located at the Storengy storage site in Etrez, near Bourg-en-Bresse, France, the demonstrator was developed by a consortium of nine European companies and coordinated by Storengy, a subsidiary of ENGIE. It stems from a Research & Development project that confirmed the potential of the salt cavern known as “EZ 53” for hydrogen storage.
HyPSTER, aligning with the pioneering spirit of the flagship project in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, known as the “Zero Emission Valley” (the largest renewable hydrogen mobility project in France), adds an essential piece to the puzzle: storage.
The largest salt cavern gas storage site in France
The project’s objective was to test the production and storage of renewable hydrogen in a salt cavern on an industrial scale, as well as the technical and economic replicability of this process at other sites in Europe. HyPSTER is thereby paving the way for true industrialization of the sector.
Renewable hydrogen will be produced from local renewable energies (photovoltaic, hydroelectric) and a 1 MW electrolyzer. Eventually, the installation will produce 400 kg of hydrogen per day. By 2026, hydrogen production and storage will gradually amplify, until the salt cavern’s full capacity is used up i.e. almost 50 tonnes. This is equivalent to the daily consumption of 2,000 buses.
Etrez will become the largest French site for salt cavern gas storage. It will supply the region’s industrial players and hydrogen filling stations.
In the future, renewable gases (biomethane, e-methane, hydrogen) will replace natural gas. Gas storage will also be 100% renewable. The HyPSTER project marks an important step in adapting infrastructure.
ENGIE is now present across the entire value chain: from production of renewable hydrogen to its distribution at mobility stations, through pipeline transport, and in underground storage.
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