ITM Power has won a competitive tender process, based on both price and performance, to supply a hydrogen production unit to a 360kW Power-to-Gas (Strom zu Gas) energy storage plant Thüga Group project. The Thüga Group is the largest network of energy companies in Germany with around 100 municipal utility members.
This is ITM Power’s first major commercial sale in Germany of a large hydrogen production unit based on its design of a self-pressurizing rapid response PEM electrolyzer. The unit produces 125 kg/day of hydrogen gas and incorporates AEG power electronics. It will be situated at a Mainova AG site in the Schielestraße, Frankfurt in the state of Hessen.
The operational data will be shared by the whole Thüga group. The project partners include: badenova AG & Co. KG; Erdgas Mittelsachsen GmbH; Energieversorgung Mittelrhein GmbH; erdgas schwaben GmbH; Gasversorgung Westerwald GmbH; Mainova Aktiengesellschaft; Stadtwerke Ansbach GmbH; Stadtwerke Bad Hersfeld GmbH; Thüga Energienetze GmbH; WEMAG AG; e-rp GmbH; and ESWE Versorgungs AG with Thüga Aktiengesellschaft as project coordinator. Scientific partners will participate in the operational phase.
Power-to-gas energy storage is growing in significance in Germany; this deployment with Thüga-Group is the largest yet PEM Electrolyser deployment in a Power-to-gas application to date. PEM electrolyzers are able to respond rapidly to fluctuating renewable inputs and so are able to store renewable energy as hydrogen for injection into the gas grid. The ITM Power technology is unique since it can respond in one second and is self-pressurizing up to 80 bar, permitting direct injection into the German gas grid.
In the decade between 2020 and 2030 we will need to store excess renewable energy in significant volumes. We have calculated that the municipal natural gas network is capable of storing all future generated excess renewable energy. In order to transform green electricity into hydrogen or methane we need an economic best practice. It is important for the advancement of Power-to-Gas technology to make the transition from lab to practical demonstration. We believe that the natural gas distribution system could be the battery of the future, and we are now building the charger.—Michael Riechel, CTO, Thüga Aktiengesellschaft