Canadian Biomass Magazine

Canadians part of Italian renewable energy storage project

July 25, 2012
By Hydrogenics Corporation

July 25, 2012, Mississauga, ON - Hydrogenics Corporation announced that they are part of a consortium of seven partners based in Europe to kick off the INGRID project, where they will design, build, deploy and operate a 39 MWh energy storage facility in Italy.

The Puglia region in Italy currently has an installed base of solar, wind and biomass energy systems. The energy storage process, known as ‘Power to Gas,’ uses hydrogen gas to store unused electrical energy generated from renewable resources, helping to balance supply and demand on the local power grid. The new energy storage installation is capable of safely storing more than 1 ton of hydrogen—the largest ever built.

Consortium members include Engineering Ingegneria Informatica, the largest privately owned Italian ICT technology provider and coordinator of this project, Agenzia per la tecnologia e l’Innovazione (ARTI, Puglia, Italy), which represents the operational arm of Puglia regional authority for the innovation and technology transfer, Enel Distribuzione, Italy’s largest electricity distribution company, Hydrogenics (Belgium), the leading provider of hydrogen generators and hydrogen power systems, the French McPhy Energy SA a leader in innovative technologies for solid and safe hydrogen storage, and the research institutions Ricerca sul Sistema Energetico (RSE, Italy), leader in research projects in the field of power generation, transmission and distribution and TECNALIA (Spain).

The core innovation of the INGRID project will consist of combining solid-state high-density hydrogen storage systems and electrolysis with advanced ICT technologies for smart distribution grid monitoring and control under a scenario of high penetration of renewable energy sources in order to balance power supply and demand.

The consortium will design, build, deploy and operate a 39 MWh energy storage facility using McPhy hydrogen-based solid state storage and Hydrogenics electrolysis technology and fuel cell power systems in the Puglia region in Italy, where over 3,500 MW of solar, wind, and biomass are already installed. The hydrogen energy storage installation, with more than 1 ton of safely stored hydrogen (the largest ever built), including a novel fast responding 1.2 MW hydrogen generator, will provide effective and smart balancing support for the local grid managed by Enel Distribuzione. Several potential value streams for the generated carbon-neutral hydrogen will be investigated.


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