Dutch energy provider Essent uses photovoltaics to produce hydrogen


Netherlands-based power and gas company Essent has signed a cooperation agreement with Dutch solar developer Solinoor for the construction of a 5 MW electrolyzer at an unspecified location in its home country.

The hydrogen generation facility will be initially powered by a photovoltaic plant, but Essent may also resort to wind power for periods when the sun is not shining. The energy company also plans to deploy some battery storage capacity at the plant for the temporary storage of the surplus of solar power that cannot be immediately converted into hydrogen or supplied back to the grid.

“It is the first project in the Netherlands in which a ground-mounted and floating solar park, batteries and an electrolyzer are used for sustainable hydrogen production, while simultaneously solving grid congestion and ensuring a balanced energy network,” Essent said in a statement.

Essent and Solinoor will also partner on supplying the hydrogen produced to local customers, which is expected to be done via road transport or direct pipeline. “Green hydrogen is produced from sustainable electricity. Solinoor is developing solar parks throughout the Netherlands that can be used as an electricity source for the production of hydrogen,” said Solinoor director Vahid Kharidar. “We believe that there is always a solution for our industry to move to 100% green energy, even when we have challenges with limited transport capacity on the grid.”

According to Essent,  potential customers will be given the option to immediately switch to 100% hydrogen, but can also to initially use a mix of hydrogen and natural gas, and switch completely to hydrogen at a later stage. “In this way we help entrepreneurs to make the transition to a green future in a responsible, controlled manner,” Essent's statement reads.

The energy provider, which operates across the Benelux energy market, was acquired by German energy company RWE in 2009.

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