One of Europe’s most advanced hydrogen (H2) facilities has been inaugurated today in Denmark.

Under the coordination of Air Liquide, the HyBalance project brings together a group of partners - Hydrogenics, LBST, NAES Energy, and Hydrogen Valley - for the construction of one of the largest carbon-free H2 production units in Europe.

The H2 is produced from water electrolysis, enabling the storage of renewable electricity from wind turbines. The electrolyser, with a capacity of 1.2MW, enables the production of around 500kg of H2 a day without releasing CO2. It helps balance the grid, which is essential for the stability in electricity systems.

The H2 produced is used to supply industrial customers as well as the network of five H2 stations installed and operated by the Copenhagen Hydrogen Network (CHN), an Air Liquide subsidiary in Denmark.

Denmark is a pioneer in the integration of renewable energies into the national energy mix with more than 40% of the electricity produced on the territory coming from wind turbines.

Initiated in 2016, the project has received €8m in funding from the European public-private partnership Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) as well as €2.6m in funding from the Danish Energy Technology Development and Demonstration (EUDP) programme. The budget of the project totals €15m.

François Darchis, Senior Vice-President and member of the Air Liquide Group Executive Committee, supervising Innovation, stated, “H2 energy has a tremendous potential to support energy transition. Air Liquide is proud to be part of the HyBalance project. It also contributes to the Group’s commitment to develop technological solutions towards lower greenhouse gas emissions in order to fight climate change.”

Cutting the ribbon

Advancing key technologies

The project demonstrates the link between energy storage in the form of H2 and the deployment of H2 mobility solutions. The project will validate highly dynamic PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) electrolysis technology and demonstrate this at a megawatt-scale (1.2 MW) in a real industrial environment, producing about 500 kg of H2 per day.

The HyBalance setting is demonstrating the multiple applications of Power-to-H2 technologies, including how carbon-free H2 can be used in multiple high value markets such as industry and clean transportation, and the project will help validate the business models for these applications.

Bart Biebuyck, CEO of FCH JU, said, “HyBalance is a historical project for the FCH JU, being the forerunner of our large electrolyser demonstration projects and the first to reach the Megawatt-scale.”

“The project addresses two main objectives of the FCH JU: increasing the efficiency of green H2 production and demonstrating H2’s potential for energy storage and integration into the energy system.

“From the financial point of view, HyBalance will be assessing different income streams - selling the H2 and providing electricity grid services - in order to evaluate the business case of such innovative H2 energy systems.”

“We are delighted to be bale to support the HyBalance project through FCH JU funding, complemented by the Danish EUDP Programme.”

HyBalance plant