German power and gas grid firms Amprion and Open Grid Europe (OGE) are pushing ahead with €150m plans to build a 100MW electrolyser plant along with hydrogen infrastructure in Lower Saxony.

The project partners said they had found the ideal site for the country’s first power-to-gas plant of this size, in which electricity from renewable sources will be converted into green hydrogen and partly into green methane via an electrolyser.

Amprion and OGE will shortly apply for planning permission in the district of Emsland for the ‘hybridge’ project.

If the two companies get the go-ahead, the plant could go into operation as early as 2023.

At a press conference in Berlin, Dr. Thomas Hüwener, Member of the Board of Management of OGE, said, “We have now progressed to a stage where we can start the planning approval process for hybridge. But we still need the go-ahead from political decision makers.”

Dr. Klaus Kleinekorte, the Chief Technical Officer of Amprion, said, “Germany’s climate targets, the nuclear phase-out and the looming coal phase-out pose an enormous challenge for our energy system. We must therefore act now to create the prerequisites for power-to-gas to be available on a gigawatt scale after 2030 and for sector coupling to be possible at system level.”

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Source: OGE

L-R: Dr. Thomas Hüwener, Open Grid Europe, and Dr. Klaus Kleinekorte, Amprion

Apart from the 100MW electrolyser, the partners also intend to convert an existing OGE pipeline into a dedicated hydrogen pipeline.

Hüwener explained, “In Lingen we have ideal conditions for building a hydrogen network. There are companies that can use the hydrogen directly, and there is also a hydrogen filling and loading station in the region.”

“In the medium to long term, the natural gas storage facilities in this the region can also be used for hydrogen storage. Part of the existing gas transmission system can also be dedicated to hydrogen.”

“In the future, further parts of the gas infrastructure will be converted to allow transportation of hydrogen to the Ruhr area and beyond. We can also inject small quantities of hydrogen directly into the natural gas grid or convert the hydrogen to methane, which could then be fed into the natural gas pipeline system without any restrictions.”

He added, “We want to successfully implement this technology for the German economy on an industrial scale. We have everything we need: a technical concept, a suitable location and potential hydrogen users. We’re ready to start.”

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