Renewable energy giant Iberdrola will build what it’s billing as Europe’s biggest project yet producing green hydrogen for industrial use in a link up with chemicals group Fertiberia.
Spain-based Iberdrola and Fertiberia will spend €150m ($174m) to construct a 100MW solar PV plant, 20MWh lithium-ion battery storage system and 20MW electrolyser to produce the hydrogen at a rate of 720 tonnes per year.
The plant, in Puertollano, Spain will be used in fertiliser production at Fertiberia’s existing plant there, with operation due from 2021, said a statement announcing the deal.
The agreement marks the arrival of Iberdrola, one of the world’s largest renewables operators, in large-scale green hydrogen production. Fertiberia is the EU's largest fertiliser supplier and a major global presence in the ammonia market, according to its website.
Iberdrola CEO Ignacio Galan said: “Today we are launching the first major green hydrogen project in Europe, demonstrating that thanks to renewables and technological innovation, it is possible to continue to meet the needs of the electrification and decarbonisation of our industry.”
Green hydrogen has rocketed up the agenda of the world's biggest renewable energy operators as H2 has emerged as key part of global energy transition plans, with the potential to help decarbonise heavy-duty chemical, industrial and transport sectors.
Fellow European renewables giant Enel has also pledged to bring green hydrogen production online soon. Both companies were signatories earlier this year to a campaign called Choose Renewable Hydrogen, which extols H2 from wind and solar over the 'blue' variety made using abated fossil fuels.
At 20MW the Spanish electrolyser would match one planned at Delfzijl in the Netherlands, which Recharge has previously reported as Europe’s largest green hydrogen project – but the solar and storage at the Iberdrola/Fertiberia plant would take it to another level.
A 20MW solar array linked to a 10MW electrolyser in Fukushima, Japan, claimed to be the world’s largest renewable H2 project to enter service when it began operations in March.
All of them are dwarfed by the monster plan recently unveiled by Saudi Arabia, Air Products and ACWA Power to tap 4GW of renewables to produce 650 tons of hydrogen per day.