October 17 (Renewables Now) - Electricity grid operator TenneT and two gas grid operators plan to build a 100-MW power-to-gas pilot plant in Lower Saxony, northwestern Germany, the parties said on Tuesday.
The project is called Element One and the sites considered for its location are close to TenneT's substations in Diele and Conneforde, which mainly collect offshore wind energy from the North Sea. Under the plans, the facility will be connected to the grid gradually, starting in 2022.
TenneT is partnering with Gasunie Deutschland Transport Services GmbH and Thyssengas GmbH on the initiative, allowing them to gain first experiences with industrial-scale power-to-gas facilities, which have the potential to store large amounts of renewable electricity.
The ultimate aim of the companies is to couple the energy, transport and industrial sectors. The project will convert green energy into gas, which will be transported from the North Sea to the Ruhr region through existing pipelines and could also be used to fuel automobiles via hydrogen filling stations or by industrial consumers.
"We need powerful storage technologies if we want to achieve our ambitious expansion target for renewable energy by 2030," said Lex Hartman, managing director of TenneT.
Power-to-gas can contribute to limiting curtailment of wind energy, stabilising the electricity grid and reducing the future need for grid expansion, the companies note.