What happens if a wind farm at sea produces too much green electricity at certain times? Converting that green energy into hydrogen gas is a possible solution. This option is being studied by supermarket group Colruyt together with gas network operator Fluxys. They want to build a large hydrogen factory together.
Colruyt already invested in wind farms in the North Sea through its subsidiary Parkwind. Storage of abundant green energy in batteries is not an option. But its conversion to hydrogen gas, which can be commercialized as energy-rich gas as CO2-free fuel. Or one can choose to inject part of the hydrogen as green gas into the natural gas network. As long as the added hydrogen does not exceed 2 percent, Fluxys does not have to adjust the gas network for this.
Green hydrogen production
Naturally, an installation is required for the production of hydrogen. Colruyt and Fluxys provide an investment budget of up to 25 million euros for an electrolysis installation of 12 to 25 megawatts. No CO2 or other greenhouse gas is released during this green production of hydrogen. The decision on the location of the factory has not yet been made. Antwerp is a possibility, with the presence of many chemical companies that use hydrogen as a raw material. However, there is only a limited gas network. Zeebrugge is geographically close to the windmills that supply green electricity and close to the natural gas network. The Zeebrugge site also offers the possibility to expand to 100 megawatts. The decision on the location may fall in the coming weeks.
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