Renewables developer and investor Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) has announced plans to build a 2GW green hydrogen project in Spain, in partnership with wind turbine maker Vestas and three other major companies.
Project Catalina, in the northeastern region of Aragon, will be powered by 5GW of wind and solar — a combination of resources that will help to run the 2GW of electrolysers day and night, thus reducing the levelised cost of hydrogen.
It is the second 2GW renewable H2 facility to be announced in Spain this month, following the Repsol-led SHYNE project.
The Catalina partners — including gas transmission system operator Enagás, power and gas utility Naturgy, and fertiliser producer Fertiberia — aim to begin construction of the 500MW first phase, powered by 1.7GW of wind and solar, by the end of next year.
Much of the roughly 40,000 tonnes of green hydrogen produced annually in that first phase will be piped to a new state-of-the-art Fertiberia facility in the eastern region of Valencia, where it will be combined with nitrogen from the air to produce green ammonia. That NH3 will then be upgraded into sustainable fertiliser at an existing Fertiberia plant in the region. Most ammonia produced today is derived from fossil fuels.
Hydrogen from the project would also be used to decarbonise local industrial facilities, as well as being blended into the natural-gas grid.
“Spain, and in particular, Aragon, offers good conditions for the development of this technology due to its excellent solar and wind resource,, the political backing, as well as the proximity to demand centres,” said Søren Toftgard, a partner at CIP, which manages about €16bn ($18bn) of green energy infrastructure funds.
Íñigo Sabater, Vestas’ vice-president of development for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, added: “We expect Catalina to showcase the huge socioeconomical impact that green power-to-X projects can have not only on the decarbonization of our societies but also in terms of economic growth and employment.”
Project Catalina — which is one of the largest onshore renewable H2 projects yet announced in Europe — will form part of CIP’s Energy Transition Fund, which focuses on power-to-X and other next-generation renewable technologies that can help to decarbonise hard-to-abate sectors such as agriculture and transport.