RAG Austria AG (RAG) and INNIO Group (INNIO) have joined forces to deploy innovative hydrogen engine technology in Gampern, Upper Austria. This groundbreaking project aims to power a hydrogen cogeneration plant that will play a pivotal role in the energy transition, ensuring a stable supply of green energy year-round.
The heart of this transformative venture is the highly efficient Jenbacher hydrogen combined heat and power (CHP) plant, which falls within the 1 MW range. Scheduled for commissioning in spring 2024, this plant is designed to operate seamlessly in harmony with renewable energy sources. Its flexibility enables it to address the intermittent nature of renewable power generation.
One of the most noteworthy aspects of this project is its role in RAG’s “Underground Sun Storage” initiative, marking the world’s first 100% hydrogen storage facility in a porous underground reservoir. During the summer months, excess electricity generated from renewables can be stored as green hydrogen, with a potential storage capacity of up to 4.2 gigawatt-hours. This stored energy can then be retrieved during the winter, ensuring a continuous and dependable energy supply.
Markus Mitteregger, CEO of RAG Austria AG, underlines the significance of the hydrogen cogeneration plant in this context. He notes that it not only produces electricity when needed but also provides essential heat, contributing to efficiency and supporting the transition to cleaner heating methods.
Dr. Olaf Berlien, President and CEO of INNIO Group, emphasizes the importance of hydrogen technology in the context of renewable energy. Hydrogen-ready decentralized energy solutions, such as highly efficient CHP plants, are vital for securing our energy future. This project is not just about advancing technology; it’s about creating a sustainable and reliable energy supply that is essential in an era of volatile renewables.
The Gampern project showcases a comprehensive approach to green energy. It seamlessly coordinates the entire value chain, from energy generation through conversion, storage, and finally, the supply of clean energy. It exemplifies the growing momentum towards the use of hydrogen as an energy vector that can bridge the gap between intermittent renewable energy generation and constant energy demands.
This endeavor stands as a testament to the forward-looking vision of RAG Austria AG and INNIO Group in contributing to the global transition to sustainable energy sources. As the world grapples with climate change and the need to reduce carbon emissions, projects like this provide a glimmer of hope and practical solutions that can lead us towards a more sustainable energy future.