Total and Engie, two of France’s biggest energy companies, have teamed up to develop France’s largest green hydrogen production plant; the hydrogen will be developed a 100% by renewable energy, coming from Total’s solar farms in La Mède.
The site, located at Châteauneuf-les-Martigues in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur South region, will have a capacity of 5 tonnes of green hydrogen per day. It will be located at the heart of total’s biorefinery in La Mède.
There, an electrolyzer with a capacity of 40 MW will be deployed, to be powered by La Mède’s 100 MW solar farms. By this conjunction, the production of the hydrogen will avoid the emitting of nearly 15,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Production of the hydrogen will meet the need of the biorefinery for its biofuel production process; according to the joint statement, “an innovative management solution for the production and storage of hydrogen will be implemented to manage the intermittent production of solar electricity and the biorefinery’s need for continuous hydrogen supply.”
The project is a one-of-its kind solution in France, with no precedent in all Europe, as it embraces a number of decarbonization practices in one single project.
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One-of-its-kind solution for the hydrogen market by Engie and Total
Specifically, the production site will implement five solutions: a digital pilot for the monitoring of continuous green hydrogen supply; the integration of solar farms to power the electrolyzer, minimizing energy losses and grid congestion; a direct current of energy between the photovoltaic source and the electrolyzer; a large-scale storage development; and the deployment of 3D models for each component of the installation.
When the first phase of the project is completed, and all solutions implemented, the site could produce as much as 15 tonnes of green hydrogen per day. Construction is expected to begin in 2022, with an approximate operational date around 2024, as the project is still subject to financial support and public authorizations.
“This renewable hydrogen production facility, combined with our expertise in solar energy, is a further step in our commitment to get to net zero by 2050. The association of two leading French energy companies will make it possible to develop the hydrogen sector; become its leaders thanks to this joint, industrial and internationally reproducible project,” said Philippe Sauquet, President Gas, Renewables & Power at Total.
“Masshylia project demonstrates the capacity of ENGIE to meet the challenges of the energy transition by developing innovative carbon neutral solutions. This partnership between ENGIE and Total embodies ENGIE’s renewable hydrogen development strategy to reduce our clients CO2 footprint,” concluded Gwenaëlle Avice-Huet, ENGIE’s EVP.