McPhy Energy, a company that specialises in hydrogen-based solutions for industrial and energy, was one of the key players in the GRHYD programme launched on January 30th in Dunkirk during the 15th annual French Energy Conference.

McPhy Energy’s exclusive solid state hydrogen storage technology positions the company at the heart of the Power to Gas programme. This initiative aims at converting surplus electricity produced by renewable energy sources — which could be wasted — into hydrogen, to store it and to inject it on demand into the natural gas network.

GDF Suez leads the GRHYD pilot programme. A partnership comprising McPhy Energy, the Dunkirk Metropolitan Authority, GrDF, GNVERT, Cofely Ineo, CEA, INERIS, CETIAT, AREVA SE, CETH2 and STDE will implement it.

McPhy Energy’s hydrogen storage equipment will regulate the quantity of hydrogen produced from wind power to be injected into the natural gas network.

During the next four years, the Dunkirk urban community GRHYD pilot programme will assess the technical and economic relevance of Power to Gas in two specific markets:

  • Housing, by injecting varying proportions of hydrogen into the natural gas distribution network to meet the needs of 200 housing units in a new residential neighborhood, and
  • Transportation, providing Hythane®, a mix of 20% of hydrogen and 80% of natural gas, to around 50 buses that run on natural gas.

GRHYD’s use of hydrogen to link electrical energy and natural gas management responds to European Directive 2009/28/EC. France must show a 23% share of renewable energies in its gross final energy consumption by 2020. As part of the Investissements d’Avenir (forward-looking investments in France’s National Loan Programme), the GRHYD project was retained in ADEME’s (National Environment and Energy Conservation Agency) call for proposals on hydrogen and fuel cells.

The programme’s projected budget, which includes ADEME financing, represents €14.9m of which €1.82m will be funded by McPhy Energy.

“Our exclusive solid state Hydrogen storage technology offers an innovative solution to the Power to Gas industry. We are pleased to prove the safety and flexibility our equipment provides in connecting electric and natural gas energy management thanks to hydrogen. This project is a major step forward to ensure France’s energy future,” declared Pascal Mauberger, Chief Executive Officer of McPhy Energy.