Toshiba to investigate hydrogen production utilizing unused geothermal energy

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Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation has been notified of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization’s acceptance of “Development of Technologies for Realizing a Hydrogen Society/Comprehensive Investigative Research” (NEDO).

The representative operator of this project will be Kansai Electric Power Company, while Toshiba ESS will participate as a joint operator. Toshiba ESS will perform a study on hydrogen generation in Oguni-machi, Aso-gun, Kumamoto Prefecture utilizing underutilized geothermal energy. The duration of the project is from July 2018 to March 2023.

This project will be executed by a consortium of four companies, including KEPCO and Toshiba ESS. KEPCO will be responsible for the general administration of the project, the examination of the quantity of hydrogen that can be created from underutilized geothermal energy, and the development of strategies for hydrogen usage. Toshiba ESS will examine the equipment layout and design of the hydrogen production equipment for Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cells (SOEC) as well as the equipment layout and design of the steam turbine and generator that will provide power to the hydrogen production equipment.

A part of geothermal steam is now underutilized. Toshiba ESS will research the effective use of wasted steam to manufacture stable and cost-effective green hydrogen to improve geothermal use and encourage local production for local energy consumption as part of this project. The created hydrogen is anticipated to be used to satisfy the heat needs of adjacent companies.

This study is the first step toward establishing a business model for the future effective use of unused geothermal energy. Once the business model is established, Toshiba ESS will promote the expansion of hydrogen production and the use of unused geothermal energy from geothermal power plants in Japan and abroad. Toshiba ESS will contribute to the development of a sustainable society through the provision of infrastructure services that increase the value of energy systems.

Vice President of the Energy Aggregation Division Shigehiro Kawahara stated, “It is a privilege to work with KEPCO on this project. Toshiba ESS has been pushing the development of hydrogen-related technologies, and while trying to realize a hydrogen society, Toshiba ESS strives to deliver hydrogen solutions with high added value by combining related technologies, such as hydrogen energy obtained from renewable energy sources. By extending our company through this partnership, Toshiba ESS will contribute to the realization of a carbon-free society.”

Nedim Husomanovic

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