Alpiq, EW Höfe, and SOCAR Energy Switzerland intend to construct an electrolysis facility in Freienbach with a capacity of up to 10 MW.
The plant’s commissioning is anticipated to begin around the end of 2022, and once completed, it will produce approximately 1000 to 1200 tonnes of green hydrogen per year to enable zero-emission mobility. Additionally, the exhaust heat will be channeled into the newly built regional district heating network. Thus, the plant will set new efficiency benchmarks and make a significant contribution to Switzerland’s climate-friendly energy supply.
Green hydrogen is a critical component of the energy revolution since it enables low-emission, decarbonized mobility and is unquestionably critical for meeting the Paris Climate Agreement’s goals. Alpiq, EW Höfe, and SOCAR Energy Switzerland have reached a new milestone together. The three businesses intend to establish Switzerland’s largest green hydrogen generation plant at the decommissioned EW Höfe substation in Freienbach (SZ). It will be substantially larger than the present largest plant, with a capacity of up to 10 MW, and hence produce more energy: When completed, it will have the capacity to produce approximately 1000 to 1200 tonnes of hydrogen per year. SOCAR, EW Höfe, and Alpiq are therefore advancing Switzerland’s green hydrogen generation to a new level.
The green hydrogen will be generated entirely from renewable energy sources directly connected to the Freienbach grid. It will be largely employed for mobility – more precisely, for heavy cargo vehicles and other applications where battery-electric systems are insufficient. The green hydrogen produced in Freienbach might be used to power up to 200 fuel-cell electric commercial cars, among other things. In comparison to diesel trucks, this would save the emission of approximately 14,000 tonnes of CO2 each year.
Additionally, the projected hydrogen generating plant will be a trailblazer in other ways. Green hydrogen will be transferred with zero emissions via a pipeline from the former substation’s production facility to the nearby Fuchsberg motorway service area, where SOCAR will erect hydrogen fueling stations on both sides of the highway.
Simultaneously, a filling station at the service area will allow for the supply of hydrogen not sold directly at the Fuchsberg service area to other hydrogen fueling stations around Switzerland. These are being constructed as part of a unique cross-sector hydrogen mobility system being developed by Hydrospider, Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility, and members of the H2 Mobility Switzerland Association. No more traffic will be generated in the neighboring communities as a result of the pipeline and filling station located directly adjacent to the motorway service station.
Additionally, the project establishes new energy efficiency standards: The project partners intend to feed the exhaust heat created during hydrogen generation into the regional district heating network that Energie Ausserschwyz is currently establishing. Thus, the hydrogen plant may heat up to 1300 dwellings in the Höfe and March districts. Additionally, the feasibility of incorporating hydrogen into EW Höfe’s current gas distribution network will be investigated. Existing gas grids provide an appropriate framework for integrating renewable energy sources into the heating sector.
The project partners will provide special public information events. These will provide an overview of the project and clarify any questions about hydrogen as an energy carrier and its critical role in decarbonisation. These events will be advertised at a later day and time.