Wärtsilä Finland, along with Vaasan Sähkö and EPV Energia and the City of Vaasa, have signed a letter of intent to collaborate on a project aiming at the use of emission-free hydrogen in power generation, industry and transport applications.
The project will be located in Vaasa and will concentrate on enabling a new way of storing renewable energy. At the same time, the goal is to pilot a hydrogen-based energy generation solution that is ideal for export markets. Hydrogen is considered to have a major role to play in meeting global warming targets. Hydrogen can be generated without pollution using energy from renewable sources.
The aim of the four parties is to jointly develop the so-called Power-to-X-to-Power system in Vaasa. The machine would use green energies to create hydrogen to be deposited and reprocessed. Stored hydrogen can be used in both energy generation and transport applications. Electricity produced from renewable energy sources is used as a raw material to extract hydrogen from water by electrolysis, and the hydrogen will then be further refined to create electricity. The solution is not limited to the use of hydrogen – letter X also applies to other fuels such as synthetic methane, methanol and ammonia.
Energy generation will take place in an engine power plant built by Wärtsilä, using the new technologies.
“Hydrogen and other Power-to-X -fuels will have a significant role in the future energy system and the new related technology opens up excellent export opportunities for Finnish companies. During recent years, we at Wärtsilä have researched synthetic fuels and invested in technology related to these and other future fuels. It is part of our vision for the future whereby electricity is produced from 100% renewable energy. It is great that this project has attracted such remarkable project partners, and through close cooperation we can further accelerate the development towards a cleaner world. The ecosystem around this project represents a concrete demonstration of how Wärtsilä’s new Smart Technology Hub under construction in Vaasa will create new opportunities and build cooperation.”Matti Rautkivi, director, new business, Wärtsilä Energy.
The diversity of the approach is highlighted by its opportunities to minimize pollution in a variety of industries. It also addresses the issue of conservation of renewable energy, which is considered to be weather-dependent.
“The solution offers a new kind of emissions-free flexibility to the energy system, which is increasingly based on renewable energy sources. At the same time, the system marks one step more towards more efficient and CO2 neutral energy production. Both viewpoints are extremely important to us.”Hans-Alexander Öst, development director at Vaasan Sähkö.
By producing and storing hydrogen, any excess over-production of renewable energy can be utilised.
“EPV has already invested significantly in wind power and will continue to do so in the future. When wind power production exceeds demand, we need to store the electricity for later use at a convenient point of time. Hydrogen is seen as an excellent storage solution for renewable electricity in the future. We want to be contributing to developing this solution as a part of emissions-free heat and power generation. The aim is to integrate the heat generated in the production of hydrogen and energy into the existing rock cave heat storage. At the same time, we will maximize the total efficiency of the system.”Niko Paaso, director at EPV Energia.
Digitalization can be used whenever feasible to maximize the result. The new combined heat and power generation plant in the Vaasa area offers excellent location support for this undertaking. Hydrogen, electricity, and heat supply facilities, as well as hydrogen storage, will be installed in the Vaskiluoto power plant. In the future, the production and storage capacity of hydrogen will be expanded.
The venture supports the goals of the parties to remain CO2 neutral during this decade. It also offers a fresh market potential for energy technologies and is quickly implemented even on a global scale.
“It is important that the City of Vaasa is involved in promoting the goals of local companies to develop emissions-free and clean energy solutions. This venture is an excellent example of the strength of regional cooperation and concrete innovations aimed at combatting climate change. The stored hydrogen can be used, for example, as fuel in public transport, which reduces road traffic emissions and contributes to the city’s CO2 neutrality target.”Tomas Häyry, Vaasa city manager.
During 2021, the venture parties aim to follow-up on funding possibilities, and to reach the final agreement for starting the project.