Dutch network company Alliander and renewable energy developer GroenLeven have opened the first solar PV connected green hydrogen plant in the Netherlands.
The 1.4MW hydrogen electrolyser from the Danish provider Green Hydrogen Systems is installed at GroenLeven’s 50MW solar park at Oosterwolde in northern Holland as a pilot to investigate the role of hydrogen in the electricity grid.
Over the next five years the companies intend to jointly investigate issues such as the role of hydrogen in the reduction or prevention of congestion and whether hydrogen is a solution to avoid expansion of the grid.
“As a grid operator … it is important that we make optimal use of the space on the grid – that we get more capacity out of our existing grid and deal smarter with the available capacity,” says Daan Schut, CTO of Alliander.
“The pilot that we are carrying out together with GroenLeven gives us the opportunity to see whether hydrogen can contribute to the efficient use of our electricity grids. By making hydrogen with the electricity generated from the solar park and using it as fuel to run cars, our grid is less burdened and no sustainably generated energy is lost.”
GroenLeven will use the electricity from its solar park to produce the green hydrogen, which will then be purchased by the local taxi company Kort and fuel supplier OrangeGas from Heerenveen.
It is expected that 100,000kg of hydrogen can be produced annually, good for example for about 10 million km of passenger vehicle travel.
GroenLeven intends to study how the hydrogen production varies with the changing output from the solar park as well as the potential of hydrogen for renewable energy storage.
“Collaboration is essential for the energy transition to succeed,” says Peter Paul Weeda, co-CEO of GroenLeven.
“Together with network operators, we are putting our shoulders to the wheel to come up with solutions. Whereas in the past our emphasis was on solar energy, we are now expanding this to a mix of wind energy, energy storage and therefore also hydrogen. In this way, we make a substantial contribution to the energy transition in the Netherlands and to a cleaner, better world for future generations.”
Wind and solar generation is growing rapidly in the Netherlands, with its target to reach at least 35TWh by 2030 and not all the generation can be fed into the grid resulting in more widespread congestion and growing opportunities for alternative uses, for example for the production of hydrogen.