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Demonstration of 4MW Pressurized Alkaline Electrolyser for Grid Balancing Services

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - Demo4Grid (Demonstration of 4MW Pressurized Alkaline Electrolyser for Grid Balancing Services)

Reporting period: 2019-03-01 to 2020-08-31

The 21st century is dedicated to the energy revolution. The European Union wants a 27% reduction in CO2 emissions by the year 2030. Imported energy, such as oil, coal and gas should be gradually replaced by solar energy, hydropower and wind power. However, this leads to a partial overloading of the power grids. Green hydrogen is the solution to this problem.

Within the framework of the EU project Demonstration for Grid Services, europeans largest single-stack alkaline-pressure electrolysis plant will be set up and tested in Tyrol to regulate the regional electricity network, generate green hydrogen and supply foodstuffs with CO2-free energy.

The plant, which is to be supplied by IHT from Switzerland, is being implemented in Völs, near Innsbruck by MPreis, a regional food producer and trader. The Green Energy Center Europe in Innsbruck, is the catalyst for this project, financed by the EU and Switzerland, in which the targets will be hit in the green energy future.
Over the next five years, the protagonists and European project partners will work responsibly and jointly to make regional resources available for the heat supply and mobility of tomorrow.

The main aim of project Demo4Grid is the commercial setup and demonstration of a technical solution utilizing “above state of the art” Pressurized Alkaline Electrolyser (PAE) technology for providing grid balancing services in real operational and market conditions. The final goal is to provide grid balancing services to the transmission system operator APG (primary and secondary balancing services), to participate in TIWAG’s intra-day and spot markets to generate cost-competitive hydrogen as well as to use surplus hydro-power energy from a station currently near to the electrolysis plant.

In order to validate existing significant differences in local market and grid requirements Demo4Grid has chosen to setup a demonstration site in Austria to demonstrate a viable business case for the operation of a large scale electrolyser adapted to specific local conditions that will be found throughout Europe. To achieve that, Demo4Grid will demonstrate at this demo site with particular needs for hydrogen as a means of harvesting RE production:

- a technical solution to meet all core requirements for providing grid balancing services with a large scale PAE in direct cooperation with grid operators,
- a market based solution to provide value added services and revenues for the operation strategy to achieve commercial success providing grid services and those profits obtained also from the hydrogen application.

DBC (Diadikasia Business Consulting S.A. Greece), IHT (Industrie Haute Technologie S.A. Switzerland), FHA (Fundación Hidrógeno Aragón, Spain), INYCOM (Instrumentación y Componentes S.A. Spain), MPREIS (MPREIS Warenvertriebs GmbH, Austria) and FEN-SYSTEMS (FEN Sustain Systems GmbH, Austria) are the partners of the Demo4Grid project.

The electrolysis plant will be installed in Völs near Innsbruck. As of 2021, the energy plant will be built and operated in the facilities of MPREIS. IHT is building an alkaline pressure electrolyser with a maximum power consumption of 4 MW for the project and will operate it together with INYCOM, which develops a remote control centre for advanced maintenance and smart operation. In parallel, MPREIS, end user, will supervise operation and integration in their facilities, DBC and FEN are leading exploitation and commercialization activities to explore replication of the project, FHA is in charge of dissemination and communication of results and DBC coordinates and manages DEMO4GRID, being the link with the European Commission.
PAE development
Major engineering documentation has been finalised and frozen during this last period. Some changes in P&IDs has been required due to updates in HAZOP assessment and integration of PAE scope in MPREIS plant. Procurement process has progressed smoothly during this period until Covid crisis has appeared. Some of the running procurement processes, mainly affecting to stack, have been delayed or postponed as the suppliers have not confirmed yet final delivery date of some of the remaining pieces. All major equipment related to balance of plant has been purchased and received, pending some equipment with very short delivery time. Skid manufacturing has been affected also by Covid crisis, as the subcontractor in charge has suffered long stops.
Demo site preparation:
- Construction work for the Demo4Grid-building has started in August 2020. Concrete has just been poured to finalize the upper cover.
- Construction work is proceeding according to contracts. The construction work will be finished before Christmas 2020. This will allow the ensuing subcontractors to start working beginning of 2021.

Since 6th of November 2020, permits obtaining procedure is finished. The status change procedure and nature law compliance procedure have been successfully finalized, all necessary permits for building and operating the D4G site are received and legally enacted. Technical compliance proceeding has started and will be enacted along the delivery/build-up of the plant. Partner is TÜV Austria

Finally, the communication and dissemination plan of the project was elaborated. The CDAP is aimed to ensure the impact of the project, at every level and with different focus of interest of the project results. The 3rd update of the CDAP includes now all the activities which are actually running and shows the additional achievements to the previous version. The great finding of the past project year was the stakeholder and shareholder processes had to influence and fertilize each other in order to cause not a crash of the project. Due to several circumstances a post-processing of the project became necessary and more budget has to singed by the shareholders of MPreis. This led to the need for a new setup of the external dissemination and internal awareness process. Dissemination and market-development efforts led by FEN-system have been successfully establishing a link to Tyrolean governance and administration.

The Demo4Grid website, which has been online by November 2017, provides a clean homepage with few key facts to spark the visitor’s interest.
The current investment volume for this high-end innovation project, which is also the spearhead of an emerging hydrogen economy in the region, has now reached 13 million euros. The financial support for the project comes from the EU, the Swiss state and recently also from Kommunalkredit Public Consulting (KPC Austria). Active support for the project is given by the policy of the federal region of Tyrol, the municipality of Völs and from the numerous administrative bodies providing the corresponding permits in the 3-year development process of this absolutely pioneering project.

Moreover, MPREIS is implementing a multi-fuel refuelling station adjacent to the D4G-site. The goal is to integrate two fuel types (Diesel and H2) to be refuelled at the station. FC-driven trucks in the commercial range of 26 and 40 tons are available. MPREIS demo site preparation is encompassing all preparatory measures to utilize hydrogen produced in her own transportation fleet, as substitute for NG in the production facilities and, furthermore, to substitute low-level heat production with thermal energy supplied by the electrolyser.
DEMO4GRID Team @ MPREIS premises in Innsbruck
DEMO4GRID overall concept
DEMO4GRID Kick-off
Construction work for the Demo4Grid-building