- Total and Engie will build a 40 MW electrolyzer powered by 100 MW solar PV capacity in France
- It is expected to generate 5 tons of green hydrogen daily which will be used by Total’s La Mède biorefinery in Châteauneuf-les-Martigues
- Partners may choose to expand renewable energy capacity on site in the future to take the production to up to 15 tons of green hydrogen a day
- To produce and store hydrogen for an uninterrupted supply of hydrogen for the biorefinery, the developers will implement an innovative management solution
Following the news of Engie collaborating with Neoen to develop a 1 GW subsidy free solar farm in France with 40 MW battery energy storage system (BESS) and 10 MW electrolyzer capacity, the French energy company has entered into a new cooperation agreement with compatriot Total for what they call as the country’s ‘largest’ renewable hydrogen production site (see 1 GW Solar & Storage Project Planned For France).
As per the agreement signed, Total and Engie will build a 40 MW electrolyzer to produce 5 tons of green hydrogen daily with the help of solar power generated by 100 MW capacity. Green Hydrogen thus produced by the Masshylia project will be used by Total’s biofuel production process at its La Mède biorefinery site at Châteauneuf-les-Martigues in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur South region. It will enable the company to avoid 15,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually.
The 2 partners added that they will implement an innovative management solution for the production and storage of hydrogen to manage intermittent solar energy generation and to ensure uninterrupted supply of hydrogen to the biorefinery. They did not specify what this innovation solution be.
An advanced engineering study into the project will be completed post which construction on these facilities could begin in 2022 with a completion timeline of 2024 ‘subject to necessary financial support and public authorizations’. They have already submitted applications to seek subsidies from the French and European authorities.
And this is just phase I. Once it is implemented, new renewable farms may be developed for the electrolyzer to produce up to 15 tons of green hydrogen a day.
In a joint statement, Total and Engie said the Masshylia project integrates 5 innovations that prefigure the industry’s decarbonization solutions, that set a precedent in Europe. These are listed as the following:
- A digital piloting system for the continuous supply of hydrogen with real-time management of solar electricity production
- Optimizing the integration of several photovoltaic farms supplying the electrolyzer to minimize energy losses and limit grid congestion
- Large-scale hydrogen storage to balance intermittent electricity production and continuous hydrogen consumption
- A direct current connection between a photovoltaic farm and the electrolyzer to improve the energy balance, and
- Enhanced industrial safety thanks to the use of 3D digital models for each component of the installation
“The partnership between Engie and Total, by its scale and its very ambitious integrated approach, embodies Engie’s renewable hydrogen development strategy to reduce our clients CO2 footprint. It also paves the way for a multi-usage renewable hydrogen hub in the near future, strongly rooted in the region and with an international outreach.
Several regional institutions in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur South Region, Métropole Aix-Marseille-Provence, Capenergies competitiveness cluster have labelled the Masshylia project as ‘innovative and of great interest to the region’, the 2 partners added.
Green hydrogen is big on European Union’s (EU) agenda as the European Commission is targeting member states to jointly install 40 GW of clean energy powered electrolyzers by 2030 under the Clean Hydrogen Strategy (see European Commission Launches Hydrogen Strategy). This means we can expect more green hydrogen projects being announced in the near future for Europe. Stay tuned!