ITM Power is pleased to announce the official inauguration this week of the Thüga Group’s power-to-gas plant in Frankfurt am Main.

ITM Power delivered the PEM electrolyser, first ordered in March 2013, to the site in September 2013. The plant successfully injected the first ever electrolytically generated hydrogen into the Frankfurt am Main natural gas distribution network in December 2013. Final acceptance of the plant was achieved at the end of March 2014, which reflected the timely achievement of all milestones set.

The project partners include a total of 13 companies from various states: badenova AG & Co. KG, Erdgas Mittelsachsen GmbH, Energieversorgung Mittelrhein GmbH, erdgas schwaben gmbh, ESWE Versorgungs AG, Gasversorgung Westerwald GmbH, Mainova Aktiengesellschaft, Stadtwerke Ansbach GmbH, Stadtwerke Bad Hersfeld GmbH, Thüga Energienetze GmbH, WEMAG AG, e-rp GmbH and Thüga AG, which is acting as project coordinator.

Dr. H. C. Petra Roth, Chairman of Thüga Holding GmbH & Co. KGaA and former Lord Mayor of Frankfurt, praised the joint commitment, “When municipalities and public utilities join forces, then that is smart, efficient and responsible behaviour. The companies comprising the Thüga Group develop and implement joint solutions for all energy-related issues - ranging from those involving energy production to those concerned with energy efficiency and innovations as well as those attending storage and networks.” The operational and research phase is set to run until the end of 2016.

ITM Power’s proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser is the core of the system. This converts electrical energy into chemical energy and thus facilitates the storage of electrical energy. The gas mixing plant ensures that the admixture of hydrogen in the gas distribution network does not exceed two percent by volume. The plant is now entering its three-year operational phase, during which time the plant will participate in the balancing energy market and provide negative balancing power. That means, when too much power is on the electrical grid, at the request of the TSO, the load of the electrolyser will be increased. In this case, the plant absorbs the excess power and converts it into hydrogen. This also contributes to the stability of the electricity grid.

Phil Doran, MD, ITM Power GmbH, commented, “We are proud to have completed our first significant sale into the German utility market and delighted to have taken part in this impressive inauguration event, which has received wide-spread press coverage in Germany, not least owing to the presence of a number of high-profile politicians lending their support. The event has further raised the profile of ITM Power in Germany, the home of the Energiewende, and marks the next stage of our development.”