Equinix-led team gets fin backing for novel fuel cell development project
The EU Clean Hydrogen Partnership will provide EUR 2.5 million (USD 2.8m) to help fund a project led by digital infrastructure major Equinix Inc (NASDAQ:EQIX) aimed at developing low-carbon fuel cells to power data centres.
The project in question is known as EcoEdge PrimePower (E2P2). It is being developed by a consortium that includes Equinix, sector players Vertiv (NYSE:VRT) and InfraPrime, Swedish research institute RISE, Italian energy infrastructure operator Snam SpA (BIT:SRG), fuel cell systems developer SOLIDpower and alternative fuels competence centre TEC4FUELS GmbH.
Together, the consortium members will explore the combination of solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFC) with uninterruptible power supply (UPS) technology and lithium-ion batteries to provide resilient and clean primary power to data centres and other critical infrastructure.
Equinix pointed out that implementing natural gas SOFC as a prime power application is a key to facilitating the use of green hydrogen for fuel cells application, both when it comes to backup and prime power systems. The US company intends to deploy and test the experimental E2P2 fuel cell platform at a dedicated space within one of its data centres in Milan, Italy.
"The E2P2 project enables us to demonstrate a novel architecture for power generation, distribution and storage; support a broader transition from natural gas to sustainable hydrogen; and support our goal of operating a climate neutral business by 2030,” said Justin Dustzadeh, chief technology officer at Equinix.
The Clean Hydrogen Partnership is the successor of the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) and is backed by the European Commission, fuel cell and hydrogen industries and the research community. Its goal is to speed up the development and improvement of advanced clean hydrogen technologies.