After a year in construction, Energiepark Mainz, a collaboration between Stadtwerke Mainz, Linde, Siemens and the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences, was inaugurated in Mainz. (Earlier post.) The energy park will produce hydrogen using electricity from neighboring wind parks.
Around €17 million has been channelled into the project, which is also being funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy within the framework of its “Förderinitiative Energiespeicher” (Energy Storage Funding) initiative.
Fuel-cell drive technology has advanced greatly and is now being launched to the market. If this technology is adopted on a wide enough scale, it has the potential to significantly reduce traffic-related environmental pollution. Today, most of the hydrogen that Linde supplies to filling stations is already green. Energiepark Mainz has the capacity to produce enough hydrogen for around 2,000 fuel-cell cars.—Dr. Wolfgang Büchele, Linde Group CEO
In the project, Linde is responsible for purifying, compressing, storing and distributing the hydrogen. The company’s efficient ionic compressor technology gives the plant a high degree of operational flexibility. The hydrogen produced in Mainz-Hechtsheim will be stored on site and partly loaded into tankers to supply hydrogen fueling stations. Some of the hydrogen will also be fed into the natural gas grid for heating or power generation.
Siemens delivered the park’s hydrogen electrolysis system. The PEM-based high-pressure electrolysis system—comprising three 2MW units—has a peak performance of 6MW—the largest system of this kind. The energy park therefore has enough capacity to prevent bottlenecks in the local distribution grid and to stabilize the power supply of smaller wind parks.
The energy park is directly connected to the medium-voltage grid of the Stadtwerke Mainz Netze GmbH utility company. It is also linked to four neighboring wind parks that belong to the Stadtwerke group.
The RheinMain University of Applied Sciences has been working in this area for many years and is providing scientific support to the research project, which is set to run for four years. The findings will be incorporated and evaluated in a PhD thesis.