The first 1 MW power-to-gas installation is an important step in scaling up power-to-gas technology. EnergyStock and Gasunie New Energy aim to convert sustainable electricity into hydrogen for transport and industry at the site of EnergyStock storage facility. The EnergyStock facility is ideally situated for this project thanks to buffer capacity and connection with the main gas and electricity infrastructure.
This pilot project, called HyStock, is the first power-to-gas facility in the Netherlands with a capacity of 1 Megawatt. The installation has started end of 2018 and construction has been finished in May 2019. A 1 MW solar field consisting of approximately 12,500 solar panels will be installed at EnergyStock’s site of which approximately 4,500 panels will be dedicated to the HyStock project. The other 8,000 panels will be used to improve the green credentials of the energy consumption of the actual gas storage facility. The majority of the sustainable energy, e.g. 88%, will be delivered to the HyStock project via TenneT’s high-voltage electricity grid, enabling energy conversion between the high voltage electricity network and the gas transmission network.
The HyStock power-to-gas installation
The majority of the solar panels are placed on the inside of the earth embankments around the EnergyStock facility. In addition, the parking areas of the installation are covered by a solar roof. One megawatt of the power generated will be converted into hydrogen. For this purpose, three containers are placed within the gates of the installation: one will contain the electrolysis unit, the second the necessary electronics, and the third a compressor that fills the storage cylinders with hydrogen. The storage cylinders will be mobile and capable of being transported to end-users (e.g. transport and industry).
Hydrogen as energy carrier
Green power production is expected to take off over the coming years which will create huge fluctuations between supply and demand.
Storing sustainable electricity in large quantities is a challenge: an affordable battery that would be capable of doing this reliably on a large scale has yet to be invented. The largest operational battery is 100 MWh whilst a hydrogen cavern could hold up to 240,000 MWh. Therefore hydrogen offers a good solution to store large quantities of renewable energy. Together with oxygen, hydrogen is the main component in water. You can separate these two components quite easily in a CO2 neutral way using sustainable electricity. Gasunie New Energy and EnergyStock see the conversion of power-to-gas as a promising technology in which gas infrastructure can play an important role. In the future, hydrogen will be an important clean fuel in a sustainable energy supply. Hydrogen can be used for transport for instance, as well as for industrial applications and electricity supply. With the HyStock pilot project we aim to contribute to the further development of the market for green hydrogen.
North Netherlands can become a hydrogen economy
Possible hydrogen storage project developments over the next five years
North Netherlands is ideally located for the pilot project HyStock. The region offers the opportunity of future large scale storage of hydrogen in salt caverns. Through HyStock, the Gasunie subsidiaries EnergyStock and Gasunie New Energy aim to contribute, together with market parties, to the further development of the hydrogen market and apply new technologies on a larger scale. The ambition of the North Netherlands region is to become a hydrogen economy. There are wind parks at sea, solar panels on land, and the north of the Netherlands is connected to the electricity grid in Scandinavia and Germany via intercontinental cables.
Furthermore hydrogen is already used by industries in the Delfzijl area. Power-to-gas can play an important part in the future in balancing the grid on a continuous basis. EnergyStock is capable of constructing large amounts of storage capacity and is strategically situated between the high-voltage electricity grid and the main gas transport grid. EnergyStock is highly experienced in storage operations and wishes to cooperate fully in this energy transition. Together with Gasunie New Energy, EnergyStock aims to ensure that all valuable sustainable energy can be fully utilised.