"H2 Research Cavern"
As part of the HYPOS research initiative, a pilot project for the underground storage of hydrogen in Central Germany was launched on 1 May 2019.
The aim of the HYPOS project "H2 Research Cavern" is the development and official approval of the storage research platform (SFP) consisting of large electrolysis, storage facility (surface and underground) and the transport connection to the Central German hydrogen network. The focus of the project is on storage and transport.
After a two-year project phase, the storage facility is to be erected at the Bad Lauchstädt site and put into research operation. This would make the facility the first hydrogen cavern storage facility in continental Europe and the first cavern storage facility worldwide to store green hydrogen from renewable energies.
"Energiepark Bad Lauchstädt"
The model region in central Germany is also heavily characterized by the chemical plants and centres of Leuna, Merseburg and Bitterfeld. They have a high demand for hydrogen. Current estimates suggest that up to 1.3 billion m3 of demand can be replaced with green hydrogen by 2025. Long term plans include replacing up to 9 billion m3 by 2050. This is yet another area in which the wind farm and cavernous storage will play a central role. The solution-leached caverns are found at a depth between 765 and 925 meters within a layer of salt up to 500 meters thick.
The storage platform and large-scale electrolysis will be created as part of the Bad Lauchstädt energy park. Initially, the results of the H2 cavernous storage research platform will be built upon in an operational research phase. An additional project element, a wind farm in the immediate vicinity of the Bad Lauchstadt storage facility, will be set up by a project partner. The Bad Lauchstadt energy park project is one of three partial projects which, together, make up the main Green HydroChem project. These three partial projects are all fundamentally independent yet linked by a common H2 infrastructure.
The ideal location of the caverns means that they can easily be connected to the hydrogen infrastructure already present in central Germany’s “chemical triangle” of Leuna-Schkopau and Bitterfeld.
The BMWi supports one or more real laboratories over a period of five years with a total of 100 million euros annually. Initially, the focus will be on Power-to-X technologies. The call for entries for the 7th Energy Research Programme's "Reallabore der Energiewende" ideas competition ended on 5 April. A decision by the BMWi on which of the submitted project outlines are eligible for funding as a real laboratory is expected in the third quarter of 2019.
VGS would like to gain experience in the construction of necessary industrial plants under realistic conditions and thereby promote innovations.