Hamburg could install up to 500 MW of electrolysers at former coal plant

Image by Wacker Chemie AG.

March 24 (Renewables Now) - The city of Hamburg is pressing ahead with a plan to convert the Moorburg coal-fired power station into a plant for green hydrogen production after a study proved the feasibility of deploying an electrolysis capacity of up to 500 MW at the site.

The feasibility study was conducted on behalf of Hamburg's Economy and Innovation Authority (BWI) in cooperation with the Authority for the Environment, Climate, Energy and Agriculture. It sought to evaluate various concepts for the use of the site and its switch to a carbon-neutral operation. The results showed that the construction of an electrolysis plant with a capacity of up to 500 MW is feasible in economic and technical terms and the facility could be commissioned by 2026.

After the completion of the thorough examination, the green light can be given for the construction of a large electrolysis plant at the Moorburg site, said Michael Westhagemann, Hamburg's Senator for Economy and Innovation. The project signals the city's support for the consortium Hamburg Green Hydrogen Hub (HGHH) which is planning to build a scalable 100-MW electrolyser in the port city, Westhagemann added. The consortium comprises Shell (LON:SHEL), Mitsubishi (TYO:7211) and Hamburger Energiewerke as well as Vattenfall as a strategic partner.

Other options for the future of the site that were considered in the feasibility study include the conversion of existing parts of the plant into a combined heat and power plant running on biomass, a gas and steam power station or high-temperature storage systems. However, Hamburg's Senate considers these options as unfeasible under the current technical, economic and environmental conditions.

The announcement of the results from the study comes shortly after the Economy and Innovation Authority unveiled a strategy to make the major port city in northern Germany a European hub for the import of green hydrogen on land via pipelines and by sea.

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