Hydrogen Power Storage & Solutions East Germany (HYPOS) is developing the largest hydrogen storage unit in Europe.

Based on an existing salt cavern in Bad Lauchstädt, Saxony-Anhalt, the project (H2 Research Cavern) is being developed by a consortium of DBI - Gastechnologisches Institut gGmbH, VNG Gasspeicher GmbH, ONTRAS Gastransport GmbH, Fraunhofer IWMS and the Institute of Mountain Mechanics GmbH.

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Source: HYPOS

The supply chain for green hydrogen

“Salt caverns are particularly suitable for storing extremely large amounts of hydrogen in the subsurface,” explained Florian Thamm, HYPOS’ Marketing and Public Relations Officer, when he spoke exclusively with gasworld.

“After the leach out, the cavern has a potential capacity of more than 50 million Nm3 working gas. When the plant is completed, it will be the largest green hydrogen storage facility in the world.”

“In the future, a wind farm and a suitably dimensioned electrolyser with a capacity of around 30MW will be built next to the large storage facility.”

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Source: HYPOS

From left to right: Dr. Rodoula Tryfonidou (BMWi), Nils Aldag (sunfire GmbH), Burkhard Reuss (TOTAL Deutschland GmbH), Dr. Christoph Mühlhaus (HYPOS e.V.), Hans-Joachim Polk (VNG AG) und Thomas von der Heide (HYPOS e.V.)

According to Thamm, plans are being made to initially connect the cavern via Linde AG’s 150km former natural gas pipeline. The natural gas network is already being tested for hydrogen compatibility and safety regulations, and solutions for adapting and reallocating the natural gas network to green hydrogen are being developed.

This could then be connected to the dedicated hydrogen pipeline in Central Germany, which connects hydrogen production and consumption from the south of Leipzig up to Leuna and Bitterfeld-Wolfen.

HYPOS’ lead project is being realised in three stages: (1) concept design and legal approval; (2) construction; and (3) first filling and test schemes.

The first and current stage commenced in Autumn 2018 and stage three is expected by 2023/2024.

Who is HYPOS?

Founded in 2013, HYPOS (Hydrogen Power Storage & Solutions East Germany) aims to create the exemplary linkage between the chemical and natural gas grid with the electrical in East Germany in order to achieve an economic viability of green hydrogen.

The main pillars of HYPOS’ strategy are:

  • cost reduction for green hydrogen applications along the entire supply chain
  • establishment and expansion of a secure hydrogen network in the HYPOS region with a long-term goal to incorporate a green hydrogen economy
  • clustering of local competence of small and medium-sized enterprises, industry partners and research institutions
  • cooperation with similar networks in order to strengthen competence and innovation, raising the economic and social acceptance for hydrogen applications

The organisation is located in Central and East Germany, a region which has unique characteristics making it the preferred region for the implementation of a green hydrogen economy.

HYPOS connects almost 100 members throughout Germany including large, medium and small-sized enterprises as well as scientific institutes, universities and other institutions.

Beside these different projects HYPOS is also a network for keeping politics and economy up to date concerning green hydrogen. HYPOS connects with other initiatives, takes part in conferences and fairs and also organises an annual HYPOS-Forum. In its 5th anniversary in November (2019) the HYPOS-Forum offers participants a platform of top class speeches and for discussions.