First tests for Power-to-Hydrogen-to-Power project completed in France

An innovative renewable energy research project has reached its initial phase thanks to the collaboration of the Hyflexpower consortium, which consists of ENGIE Solutions, Siemens Energy, Centrax, Arttic, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and four European institutions.

This initiative introduces an integrated hydrogen demonstration at the Smurfit Kappa Saillat Paper Mill in Saillat-sur-Vienne (France), making it the first industrial facility in the world to do so.

The HYFLEXPOWER project aims to show how green hydrogen can be used as a versatile energy storage system that can be used to power an industrial turbine. A gas turbine that generates electricity uses a mixture of 30 vol% hydrogen and 70 vol% natural gas to manufacture the hydrogen on-site using an electrolyzer.

The project represents the execution of the first power-to-X-to-power demonstration at an industrial scale using a cutting-edge turbine and fuel with a high hydrogen percentage. Trials will carry on boosting the hydrogen ratio all the way to 100% in 2023.

Although the widespread availability of green hydrogen is still a ways off, the consortium’s members are focused on seeing past 2030 and testing out new technology, like hydrogen, now. The partners will be able to learn about the technical viability of using hydrogen while keeping a large portion of the current energy infrastructure through this initiative. For the industry, this demonstrator would open up many possibilities.

This extremely creative project comprises extensive cooperation between numerous businesses, academic institutions, and research organizations. The “Hydrogen Strategy for a Climate-Neutral Europe” study from the European Commission (EC), which highlights the crucial role that hydrogen would play within the European Green Deal carbon neutrality and energy transition strategy, served as the inspiration for the project.
The project’s stakeholders include NTUA Athens (Greece), Lund (Sweden), Duisburg-Essen (Germany), and UCL in addition to ENGIE Solutions, Siemens Energy, Centrax, ARTTIC, and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) (UK).

Two-thirds of the €15,2 million investment in the initiative, which the European Commission initially announced in 2020, comes from the EU’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The HYFLEXPOWER project’s upcoming tests are slated to take place in the summer of 2023.