The 100% Carbon-Free Renewable Energy Data Center of the Third-Place “LaScierie” in Avignon (France) Now Operates on Hydrogen, Becoming the First Urban Green Hydrogen Data Center in the World.

By June 6, 2023 6   min read  (1061 words)

June 6, 2023 |

the 100 carbonfree renewable energy data center of the thirdplace lascierie in avignon france now operates on hydrogen becoming the first urban green hydrogen data center in the world 1

This key step carried by the company ECOBIO, is part of the Program investment for the future (ECOBIOH2) from ADEME, of which it is a laureate. By this mission, the company ECOBIO is in charge of the realization of a demonstrator called ECOBIOH2 and its replications.
– ECOBIO asked Zent company to design an innovative energy efficiency model optimizing the performance of the energy system and the data center from ECOBIO H2.
– ECOBIO selected HELION Hydrogen Power to commission the hydrogen system integrating one of its fuel cells, meeting the specificity of strong urban integration desired for the ECOBIOH2 green data center. The French fuel cell manufacturer, HELION Hydrogen Power, in connecting its GreEnergy Box TM to the data center of LaScierie in Avignon, allows it thus achieving, thanks to hydrogen storage, 100% green renewable energy autonomy and carbon-free 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.

On the current site of the third-place LaScierie in the heart of the city of Avignon, welcoming cultural activities, performing arts, organic trade, restaurants, offices… the solar panels installed enable the local green data center as well as part of artistic production activities to be supplied continuously without CO2 emissions.

This innovation is made possible thanks to a hybrid electrical storage solution coupling hydrogen fuel cell with recyclable batteries. This product from HELION Hydrogen Power, recent winner of the Hydrogen Task Force H40 label, is fully developed and manufactured at Aix-en-Provence.

The GreEnergy Box TM is integrated into the hybrid electrical storage pilot designed by ZenT. It consists of an electrolyser capable of producing 1 Nm3/h of hydrogen up to 100 bars and a 4 kVA fuel cell that converts into electricity hydrogen stored under pressure. Furthermore, in addition to its electrical support function, this innovative means of storage produces heat which is recovered by providing hot water to the building.

According to Jérôme DAVID, CEO of ZenT, “the role of the fuel cell is to provide electricity when the energy stored in the batteries is no longer sufficient, especially after several consecutive days of low sunlight. This is to ensure that the data center has a 100% power supply from an intermittent renewable energy source during the day and from one season to another.

While being autonomous in renewable energy, the data center is also part of a third-place in this case. To meet the green energy needs of the site’s other activities, it is connected to the local distribution network, and powered by the Enercoop supplier to cover the remaining electricity consumption with renewable energy. Our optimization work has made it possible to improve the system efficiency of the hydrogen chain by reducing the self-consuming parts of the GreEnergy Box TM and by improving the flexibility of the battery-electrolysis coupling using the software developed by ZenT for ECOBIOH2. Cooperation with Enercoop makes it possible to request this flexibility at any time. We have paid particular attention to the materials we supply in order to guarantee modularity and offer significant recyclability. They have longer lifespan, are robust at high ambient temperatures, which allow us to avoid air conditioning, without reducing the quality of service. This device has a considerable advantage for achieving the low carbon objective, in the digital sector.”

According to Vincent MAHEO, President of HELION Hydrogen Power, a subsidiary of the Alstom Group, “The green data center market is undergoing a revolution. HELION Hydrogen Power had already produced the first hydrogen backup unit for a modular data center a few years ago. Today, thanks to this GreEnergy Box TM produced for ECOBIO, in close collaboration, we are demonstrating that it is a viable solution for supplying green energy, in particular to data centers on a human scale. Our fuel cell systems are based on standardized bricks, which, when placed in parallel, can reach several megawatts, thus meeting multiple demands.”
According to Jean Pierre Gautry, Urban Planner, Inventor of the project ECOBIO and project owner, “the local Green hydrogen data center is the result of an urban vision wishing to combine a green industrial process and a living place with multiple activities, to create flows of clean energy, its storage and in particular green hydrogen, the use of digital and data centers in a sovereign and autonomous way, while also benefiting the other activities of each of the living places where they are established. Including local green hydrogen data centers within the city, particularly in a vast movement of modernization and reconquest of the French digital sectors, is to provide a concrete solution to the climate emergency.

About the ECOBIOH2 project

Offering an innovative, local and 100% renewable digital hosting solution, with optimized energy efficiency, this is the objective that the partners of the ECOBIOH2 project have set themselves. This demonstrator project for a green hydrogen data center for an eco-island, funded by ECOBIO with the support of ADEME, is the result of the commitment of various industrial and academic partners including ETIS.

About Alstom

Leading the way in the energy transition, Alstom develops and markets mobility solutions that form sustainable foundations for the future of transport. Whether high-speed trains, metros, monorails, trams, integrated systems, tailor-made services, infrastructure, signaling or digital mobility solutions. Alstom offers its various customers the most comprehensive portfolio in the industry. 150,000 vehicles in commercial service throughout the world attest to the Group’s recognized expertise in project management, innovation, design, and technology. In 2022, Alstom is included in the Dow Jones Sustainability, World and Europe index, for the 12th consecutive time. Based in France, Alstom is present in 70 countries and employs more than 74,000 people worldwide. The Group generated revenue of €15.5 billion during the financial year ended March 31, 2022. Connect to for more information. As key player in the hydrogen industry, HELION hydrogen Power, a subsidiary of the Alstom group, specializes in designing and manufacturing long durability fuel cells in harsh environments.
Il employs around 50 people in Aix-en-provence, plus nearly 30 subcontractors. The company has been established for 22 years, has more than 40 patents in hydrogen technology and just as many systems in operation.

HELION Hydrogen Power/Alstom
Laure MARIETTI – Tél: +33 6 52 15 50 43
[email protected]
Jérôme DAVID – Tél : +33 6 31 27 33 66
[email protected]
Jean Pierre GAUTRY – Tél : +33 6 11 87 85 60
[email protected]


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