Researching green hydrogen’s potential
Setting the scene
The Netherlands’ renewable energy ambitions are committing them to 35 TWh of wind and solar power production by 2030. Meeting this impressive target means stepping up construction of wind and solar parks. That’s already generating more energy than the national grid can actually handle.
When grid capacity can’t catch up, hydrogen storage now steps in to cover the gap. Renewable energy can be converted into hydrogen and stored locally so that no power gets lost. BayWa r.e.’s Dutch subsidiary, GroenLeven, and Alliander embarked on our first hydrogen project near the town of Oosterwolde.
Meeting the challenges
With the SinneWetterstof project, some of the energy from a pre-existing 50 MWp solar farm is converted into green hydrogen with a 1.4 MW electrolyser. Our goal is to see how hydrogen production can alleviate grid congestion. We’re also testing the optimum power ratio between an electrolyser and a solar farm.
Operation of the electrolyser will be steered by local electricity production and fluctuating electricity prices. It’s the first project of this size which considers the entire value chain: from electricity to production and sale of green hydrogen.
By partnering with Alliander, we’re combining expertise from two different worlds. Renewable energy production and grid integration are coming together to see how we can speed up energy transition.
SinneWetterstof is capable of producing 100,000 kg of hydrogen each year. That’s enough to send the average fuel cell electric car on a journey of 10 million km, or to the moon and back 13 times. BayWa r.e. and GroenLeven are operating the pilot project. An agreement has been signed with OrangeGas, supplier of green fuels throughout the Netherlands, for the purchase of the green hydrogen from the SinneWetterstof project.
We’re gaining valuable insights into how electrolysers can adapt to fluctuating production. The same goes for how to optimise production of hydrogen during periods of electricity overproduction.
The lessons learned in Oosterwolde will be key to future projects. In the meantime, the local community has gained one more way to access and use renewable energy. One more measured step towards a sustainable future.
Electrolysers help reduce the need to invest in grid extensions. This will enable more renewable plants in Europe. Economies of scale in solar, wind and electrolyser capacity are crucial for green hydrogen.