Siemens and Engie plan 12 MW green hydrogen and gas project in France

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A European consortium is developing a €15.2 million ‘power-to-X-to-power’, hydrogen facility in Saillat-sur-Vienne, in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of France.

French power company Engie and compatriot consultancy Arttic will join forces with the German Aerospace Center and the Gas and Power business of industrial manufacturing giant Siemens, as well as U.K.-based gas turbine generator maker Centrax, on the scheme.

The ‘Hyflexpower’ project, funded by the European Commission with €10.5 million under its Horizon 2020 Framework Program for Research and Innovation, will be deployed at a paper recycling site.

“The purpose of this project is to prove that hydrogen can be produced and stored from renewable electricity and then [mixed] … up to 100%, [with] the natural gas currently used with combined heat and power plants,” said Siemens, in a statement.

The plan

The project partners plan to use renewable energy from the grid and water to produce hydrogen with an electrolyser. The hydrogen, which would be stored when electricity demand was low, would be used – alongside gas – to power an upgraded, 12 MW Siemens SGT-400 industrial gas turbine which previously produced steam for local manufacturing and would now generate power to be fed back into the grid on demand.

“The conversion of … existing infrastructure has the advantage of significantly lower costs and minimized lead time, compared to a greenfield site,” Siemans stated.

Installation of the hydrogen production and storage unit is scheduled next year. Deployment of the gas turbine and a demonstration of the pilot facility is planned for 2022, with final commissioning set for 2023.

Engie Solutions will be responsible for establishing hydrogen production and Siemens Gas and Power will provide the electrolyser and develop the hydrogen gas turbine. Centrax will upgrade the system for hydrogen operation.

The consortium believes the project could save up to 65,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually.

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