LEAG plans 950 MW power-to-gas plant at lignite mine


From pv magazine Germany

Germany's second-largest energy supplier, LEAG, plans to produce hydrogen through a power-to-gas plant at its lignite open-cast mine in Upper Lusatia, Germany.

The company has filed an approval request with the Brandenburg State Office for the Environment, and the project, called the Innovative Storage Power Plant, is currently undergoing a public consultation process. Immission control is a major concern for the companies involved.

LEAG's power-to-X facility will store electricity from wind and solar power in two parallel systems. It will utilize a 40 MW electrolyzer to produce 700 kg of hydrogen per hour. The company aims to convert the hydrogen back into electricity through a gas and steam turbine combined cycle power plant with a capacity of 945 MW.

The storage power plant will also include a thermal solid-state storage facility with a capacity of 1,000 MWh, integrated into the gas turbine system to optimize energy yield. Afry, a German engineering company, is responsible for the project design. In the initial expansion stage, the H2-ready turbine will convert 53% hydrogen into electricity in a natural gas mixture. LEAG plans to transition the turbine to operate with pure hydrogen at a later stage.

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According to Afry engineers, the system is designed to rely solely on thermal storage from day one, enabling a completely CO₂-free power supply. Besides generating electricity through burning in a gas turbine, the hydrogen can also be converted into electricity in fuel cells. The system stores the hydrogen at 400 bar, and local public transport buses can directly refuel at the facility.

The Lusatia lignite opencast mine is being transformed into an extensive energy park for wind power, photovoltaics, battery storage, and power-to-X. The goal is to have 7 GW of generating capacity by 2030, with photovoltaic output alone reaching 7 GW by 2040.

LEAG also plans to commission a 500 MWh storage facility using iron redox flux storage technology from US manufacturer ESS at the Boxberg power plant in Lusatia.

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