East Energy, utility to use green H2 to decarbonise district heating in Brandenburg

Image by Wacker Chemie AG.

July 1 (Renewables Now) - German renewables company East Energy GmbH and municipal utility Stadtwerke Finsterwalde GmbH are working on a joint project to produce about 3,000 tonnes of green hydrogen a year to decarbonise the district heating of a city in Brandenburg and produce biomethanol.

The two companies have signed a cooperation agreement under which East Energy will build a new 200-MWp solar park and a 30-MW wind farm on the area of a former opencast mine near the town of Finsterwalde.

The green electricity from the two facilities will be used to produce green hydrogen through a 20-MW electrolyser, East Energy said in a statement on Thursday. The hydrogen will be then processed into around 16,000 tonnes of biomethanol, using 25,000 tonnes of biogenic carbon dioxide, produced during the thermal recycling of residual waste from a nearby company. The biomethanol could be then used as a fuel in the mobility sector.

The municipal utility will offtake the waste heat of about 35 GWh annually generated during the electrolysis to supply the town of Finsterwalde with carbon-neutral district heating.

Additionally, Stadtwerke Finsterwalde will add the excess electricity from the planned wind farm and the solar park to its procurement portfolio and supply the region with green power.

With the project, the two companies aim to support the region's transition to carbon-neutral district heating which does not depend on global prices. The availability of renewable energy, green hydrogen and biomethanol is expected to keep commercial and industrial companies in the region and attract more businesses to relocate to Finsterwalde.

Rostock-based East Energy plans, builds and operates ground-mounted solar plants across northern Germany under the Sun2Grid brand. It also builds and operates bio-methanol power plants that use hydrogen and CO2-recovery to produce bio-methanol on-site and sell it to regional and national customers.

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