100% renewable targets will require power storage to manage flows on the net
Electrolysers utilise these intermittent power flows to produce H2 gas from water
H2 gas can be stored in large quantities underground and transported via existing gas pipelines
H2 vehicles recharge faster and are more durable than battery powered transport
Growing H2 demand in industrial processes will reduce costs and increase supply

EHA Members McPhy Energy and Hydrogenics France SA, as part of a consortium of 7 partners have today successfully kicked off the INGRID project, a major R&D and demonstration project with an overall budget of 23.9M Euros. The project will be granted with a financial contribution of 13.8M Euro by the European Commission within the Seventh Framework Programme for European Research and Innovation and will take four years to complete.

Consortium members include Engineering Ingegneria Informatica, the largest privately owned Italian ICT technology provider and coordinator of this project, Agenzia per la tecnologia e l’Innovazione (ARTI, Puglia, Italy), which represents the operational arm of Puglia regional authority for the innovation and technology transfer, Enel Distribuzione, Italy’s largest electricity distribution company, Hydrogenics (Belgium), the leading provider of hydrogen generators, the French McPhy Energy SA a leader in innovative technologies for solid and safe hydrogen storage, and the research institutions Ricerca sul Sistema Energetico (RSE, Italy), leader in research projects in the field of power generation, transmission and distribution and TECNALIA (Spain).

The core innovation of the INGRID project will consist of combining solid-state high-density hydrogen storage systems and electrolysis with advanced ICT technologies for smart distribution grids monitoring and control in a scenario of high penetration of renewable energy sources in order to balance power supply and demand.

 

The consortium will design, build, deploy and operate a 39 MWh energy storage facility using McPhy hydrogen-based solid state storage and Hydrogenics electrolysis technology and fuel cell power systems in the Puglia region in Italy, where over 3.500 MW of solar, wind, and biomass are already installed. The hydrogen energy storage installation, with more than 1 ton of safely stored hydrogen (the largest ever built), including a novel fast responding 1.2 MW hydrogen generator, will provide effective and smart balancing support for the local grid managed by Enel Distribuzione. Several potential value streams for the  generated carbon-neutral hydrogen will be investigated.

 

This is an important energy storage project which further substantiates the enabling position of hydrogen technologies for renewable energy integration. The importance that the EU places on hydrogen technologies, that hold the key to solving utility-scale energy storage issues of today and tomorrow, is gratifying for the companies involved. The technologies at the core of INGRID Project are well placed and proven to enable greater renewable power generation around the globe.