E.on to build EUR 5m plant to test wind-power storage technology
Nov 15, 2011 - German utility German utility E.on AG (ETR:EOAN) said on Friday it would invest EUR 5 million (USD 6.8m) in a pilot plant to convert power from wind energy into hydrogen that can then be stored in the gas grid.
The company also plans to further research into this storage technology.
The plant, to be located in Falkenhagen, northeastern Germany, is expected to start operations in 2013. It will generate about 360 cu m (12,710 cu ft) of hydrogen an hour through electrolysis, driven by power from intermittent renewable sources. The hydrogen will then be mixed into the natural gas in the Ontras pipeline system.
According to E.on, the concentration of hydrogen blended into the gas can safely be increased from 5% to 15% "in the medium term", which means that the German gas grid could be used to store today's entire renewable power output.
In addition, E.on also plans to increase its capacity for pumped-storage hydroelectricity by expanding the existing facility at the Edersee reservoir, in the central state of Hesse, and building a new plant on the German-Austrian border.