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Alliander and GroenLeven turn solar rays into hydrogen

Press Release - GroenLeven


Alliander and GroenLeven in Oosterwolde (Friesland) open the very first domestic hydrogen factory next to a solar park in the Netherlands. At this location, electricity generated by solar panels is converted into hydrogen. Alliander and GroenLeven will investigate how hydrogen can play a role in areas where the capacity of the electricity grid is not sufficient to return large-scale generated solar energy.

The Netherlands is switching to a sustainable energy supply. It has been agreed in the Climate Agreement that by 2030 at least 35 terawatt hours of sustainable electricity will be generated from large-scale onshore wind and solar energy. The number of windmill and solar parks is therefore growing rapidly. Unfortunately, not all sustainably generated electricity can always be fed back into the electricity grid. The large increase ensures that the maximum capacity of the grid is being reached in more and more places. To solve this problem, the electricity grid must be at least doubled. That requires major investments. At the same time, there are opportunities to use the grid more efficiently. For example, by using the generated electricity to make hydrogen.

Fewer traffic jams on the electricity grid
In Oosterwolde, Alliander and GroenLeven will jointly investigate how hydrogen can contribute to the efficient use of the electricity grid. In the study, Alliander is looking at whether congestion on the electricity grid can be reduced or prevented and whether hydrogen is a solution to prevent expansion of the grid. For the pilot, Alliander has built a hydrogen installation right next to a GroenLeven solar park. With this installation, GroenLeven will use the electricity from its solar park to convert water into hydrogen. This 100% green hydrogen is then purchased by the local taxi company Kort and fuel supplier OrangeGas from Heerenveen. It is expected that 100,000 kilograms of hydrogen can be produced annually.

Daan Schut, CTO of Alliander: “As a grid operator, we are responsible for transporting various energy flows through an energy grid that is subject to enormous change. It is our social duty to keep the energy grid reliable, safe and accessible for everyone. In order to do this properly, it is important that we make optimal use of the space on the net. That we get more capacity from our existing grid and make smarter use of the available capacity. We want to keep the social costs as low as possible. The pilot that we are conducting together with GroenLeven gives us the opportunity to see whether hydrogen can contribute to the efficient use of our electricity grids. By using the electricity generated from the solar park”,

Hydrogen as renewable energy
In addition to looking at how the hydrogen installation can adapt to the continuously changing generation from the solar park, GroenLeven is investigating how green hydrogen can be used as renewable energy that can be stored.

Collaboration is essential for the energy transition to succeed, says Peter Paul Weeda”, co-CEO of GroenLeven. “Congestion on the grid is now causing delays as, especially in light of the latest IPCC report, we, should accelerate. Together with network operators, we put our shoulders to the wheel to come up with solutions. This pilot with hydrogen, which we are conducting together with Alliander, is a great example of this and fits in seamlessly with our strategy. As GroenLeven, we will focus more on broad renewable energy solutions and energy landscapes. Where in the past the emphasis was on solar energy, we are now expanding this to a mix of wind energy, energy storage and therefore also hydrogen. In this way we make a substantial contribution to the energy transition in the Netherlands and to a cleaner, better world for future generations.”

SinneWetterstof symposium
The opening of the hydrogen installation in Oosterwolde is initiated with the SinneWetterstof symposium. The regional potential of hydrogen will be discussed at this symposium. Under the leadership of Remco de Boer, researcher and consultant in the field of the energy transition, various participants involved in the energy transition in Friesland will discuss this with each other. The hydrogen installation will be officially opened during the symposium. Hydrogen is expected to flow through the pipelines of the installation for the first time in June.

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