Large-volume hydrogen storage is an essential element of the energy transition and the development of a hydrogen economy in Germany. It is only this way market participants are able to respond to fluctuations in supply and demand in a flexible manner.
Electricity from renewable energies can be converted into hydrogen – so-called green hydrogen – by means of electrolysis and stored in underground gas storage facilities.
The existing gas storage facilities are designed for natural gas and need to be converted for the use of hydrogen. Uniper will test this on a large scale and in a real environment at the former salt cavern storage facility in Krummhörn in northern Germany, which has not been used commercially since 2017. For this purpose, a new cavern will be sunk using an existing well.
The storage facility will be one of the first of its kind and is expected to be operational by 2024. Uniper will invest around €10 million in the green future project with a storage volume of up to 250,000 m3 hydrogen.
“Uniper has decided to move forward with this project independent of other funded projects in order to test the technology and processes as quickly as possible. Our goal is to develop a storage solution for green hydrogen on a commercial scale and later offer it on the market. The storage capability of green electricity is one of the core issues of the energy transition and an essential building block for a CO2-free future,” Doug Waters, Managing Director Uniper Energy Storage, said.
The proximity to Wilhelmshaven enables the connection to the Uniper project ‘Green Wilhelmshaven’. There, Uniper is developing two projects for green hydrogen at the same time: Firstly, an import terminal for ammonia is planned, which will be able to convert the ammonia back into hydrogen. Secondly, Uniper envisages a large-scale electrolysis plant with a capacity of up to 1,000 MW to produce green hydrogen.
With decades of experience and a pioneering spirit, Uniper is driving forward the energy transition and enabling a secure energy supply in the future through the storage of natural gas, hydrogen, and other green gases.
Uniper is a leading international energy company, has around 11,500 employees, and operates in more than 40 countries. The company plans for its power generation business in Europe to be carbon-neutral by 2035. Uniper’s roughly 33 GW of installed generation capacity make it one of the world’s largest electricity producers. The company’s core activities include power generation in Europe and Russia as well as global energy trading and a broad gas portfolio, which makes Uniper one of Europe’s leading gas companies. In addition, Uniper is a reliable partner for communities, municipal utilities, and industrial enterprises for planning and implementing innovative, lower-carbon solutions on their decarbonization journey. Uniper is a hydrogen pioneer, is active worldwide along the entire hydrogen value chain, and is conducting projects to make hydrogen a mainstay of the energy supply.
The company is based in Düsseldorf and is one of Germany’s largest publicly listed energy supply companies. Together with its main shareholder Fortum, Uniper is also Europe’s third-largest producer of zero-carbon energy.