One of many Areva energy storage systems and technologies, the Greenergy Box consists of an electrolyser and a fuel cell. It stores hydrogen and oxygen generated by water electrolysis, allowing grid stabilisation. Photo credit: Areva
Areva is poised to announce its first major energy storage deal in Germany, according to Rémi Coulon, chief commercial officer at the company’s Renewables division. “We are about to announce our first client in Germany after having clients in France,” he told Energy Storage Report. “Germany is of course a key market for storage, it is where we see the most need. We are fine-tuning the press release.”
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ITM Power’s Transportable Hydrogen Refuelling Station (HFuel) generates hydrogen by electrolysis. Photo credit: ITM Power
Projected costs for hydrogen produced by the electrolyser units of ITM Power have gone down by up to 33% in the last year, say the company. One key reason for these reductions is economy of scale, with the latest figures being based on output from systems producing up to 446kg/day of the gas, in place of the 100kg/day units used to formulate last year’s estimates.
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UK-based ITM Power produces equipment for the production and storage of hydrogen, mainly for use in the fuel cell market. The company has just announced that it has sold a plant based on its HPac platform to an as-yet unnamed company in Japan.
This is ITM’s first factory sale in Japan, leading Dr. Graham Cooley, ITM Power’s chief executive, to comment: “Japan is an important territory for ITM Power as it is seriously committed to the adoption of hydrogen as a transport fuel. We will be engaging more significantly with Japanese markets in 2013.”
Siemens is supplying the plant and German utility RWE Power is doing the testing, starting this month and continue until October. The planned facility will use surplus electricity generated by wind turbines to power the electrolysis of water via a proton into oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen is then converted into methane, which is stored, then burned to produce either power or generate heat as required.
Although not the greenest form of energy storage – the burning of methane produces carbon dioxide – the pilot plant is certainly more eco-friendly than the highly-polluting, lignite-fired power station formerly run by RWE on the same site at Niederaussem, Germany.