Big solar+storage project linked to hydrogen production in Spain

Spanish utility Iberdrola plans to link a 100 MW/20 MWh solar-plus-storage plant to hydrogen production in Puertollano, in southern Spain. The project will require an investment of up to €150 million euros and will be one of the largest installations of its kind in Europe.

A PV plant owned and operated by Iberdrola in Mexico.

Image: Iberdrola

Spanish energy group Iberdrola plans to develop a large-scale green hydrogen production project based on renewable energy sources in Puertollano, an industrial city in the Spanish province of Ciudad Real, Castilla-La Mancha. Up to €150 million euros will be invested in the installation, which will be one of the largest green hydrogen production sites in Europe, the financial daily Expansión said, citing a document that was recently published by the municipality.

The Puertollano plant will consist of a 100 MW experimental PV plant with bifacial panels and string inverters, as well as a 20 MWh lithium-ion battery storage system. The facility will be coupled to a green hydrogen production system based on electrolysis, which will be divided into stackable modules, in order to allow the plant to be expanded, based on hydrogen demand.

Iberdrola will test different technologies: alkaline, proton exchange membrane, and solid oxide. The project will also feature a main hydrogen storage system in pressurized tanks and an experimental storage plant for other technologies such as organic liquid carrier hydrogen (LOHC), as well as a control system to achieve an optimal balance between renewable production, battery use, and the energy dedicated to green hydrogen production.

Ideal location

“The choice of Puertollano as an enclave to launch the project is not accidental,” the municipality said. “It is a strategic place from which Iberdrola will not only be able to produce hydrogen, but will also be able to commercialize it for industrial use to adjacent companies for their production processes.”

Iberdrola noted that the project will be built on land that it has owned for years. It has already started to build PV plants on the site. The National Hydrogen Center is also situated in Puertollano.

In addition, the company will promote the creation of a ‘green’ label for the hydrogen that is produced at the site. That will ensure that its carbon footprint is zero, which will help hydrogen users to reduce their CO2 emissions.

Pioneering projects

A number of projects have been announced in recent weeks, including a green hydrogen production plant in Lloseta. The installation will start operating in 2021, with up to 10 MW of capacity.

The Fundación Hidrogen Aragón is also coordinating the HIGGS project, which is designed to promote decarbonization in Europe. It is now being launched in Huesca. For 36 months, the foundation will look at the possibility of injecting hydrogen into current natural gas networks in order to reduce emissions of CO2 in sectors that are difficult to electrify.

Enagás and Ampere will be the first companies to produce hydrogen with solar energy in Spain. Both of them have signed an agreement to jointly develop several R&D projects for hydrogen production with solar and batteries.

Tecnalia, Engie and the University of Eindhoven have also created Bizkaia H2SITE, a startup that will produce green hydrogen.

Source : PV Magazine

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