Natural gas storage facility to be tested for storing hydrogen

International energy company, Uniper, has announced that it is testing the feasibility of storing hydrogen at scale in the former natural gas storage facility in Krummhörn in northern Germany, which has not been used commercially since 2017.

The existing gas storage facilities are designed for natural gas and need to be converted for the use of hydrogen. For this purpose, a new cavern will be sunk using an existing well. The storage facility will be one of the first of its kind and is expected to be operational by 2024. Uniper will invest around €10 million in the green future project with a storage volume of up to 250,000 cubic metres of hydrogen.

Large-volume hydrogen storage is seen as an essential element of the energy transition and the development of a hydrogen economy in Germany. According to Uniper, It is only in this way that market participants are able to respond to fluctuations in supply and demand in a flexible manner.

Electricity from renewable energies can be converted into hydrogen – so-called green hydrogen – by means of electrolysis and stored in underground gas storage facilities.

Doug Waters, managing director, Uniper Energy Storage, said: “Uniper has decided to move forward with this project independent of other funded projects in order to test the technology and processes as quickly as possible. Our goal is to develop a storage solution for green hydrogen on a commercial scale and later offer it on the market. The storage capability of green electricity is one of the core issues of the energy transition and an essential building block for a CO2-free future.”

The proximity to Wilhelmshaven enables the connection to the Uniper project ‘Green Wilhelmshaven’. There, Uniper is developing two projects for green hydrogen at the same time: Firstly, an import terminal for ammonia is planned, which will be able to convert the ammonia back into hydrogen. Secondly, Uniper envisages a large-scale electrolysis plant with a capacity of up to 1,000 MW to produce green hydrogen.

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