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Storing energy as hydrogen

14 Dec 2015 | A region on the move

Dunkerque’s bold GRHYD project is an experiment in storing surplus energy as hydrogen. The project consortium plans to test a hydrogen/natural gas blend as a fuel source for transport and conventional household electricity.

Dunkerque’s bold GRHYD project

In Dunkerque, Engie (formerly GDF Suez) and a consortium of industrial partners are running a bold experiment that aims to store the electricity generated by renewable energies during low-demand periods. The GRHYD project—the only initiative of its kind in France—seeks to convert the surplus energy into hydrogen, which can then be blended with natural gas to fuel vehicles and provide residential heating and hot water.

The consortium partners will run two demonstrator projects to assess the technology.

  • Transport demonstrator
    Under the Hythane® project, a fueling station for natural gas-powered buses will be adapted to handle a blend of hydrogen and natural gas. The blended fuel will initially contain 6% hydrogen and then rise to 20%, powering some 50 buses in all. This project will run at industrial scale.
  • Residential demonstrator
    In Dunkerque’s Cappelle-la-Grande area, a new neighborhood of some 200 homes will run on a hydrogen/natural gas blend with variable hydrogen content of less than 20%. Energy from renewable sources (wind power) will be injected into the grid, and surplus electricity will be converted into hydrogen, stored and distributed as needed.

Projects like this one are putting Northern France at the forefront of the Third Industrial Revolution. Positioned at the intersection of two key challenges—expanding natural and renewable energies and finding solutions for energy storage and grid integration—GRHYD is making tangible progress towards the region’s goals.

 

Source: http://www.engie.com

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