Partner announced to power India’s first green hydrogen microgrid

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Bloom Energy has announced that NTPC Limited, India’s largest energy conglomerate under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Power, has selected Bloom’s electrolyser and hydrogen-powered fuel cell technologies for the country’s first green hydrogen-based energy storage deployment. As part of India’s pledge to reach carbon neutrality by 2070, the project is designed to explore large-scale, off-grid hydrogen energy storage and microgrid projects at strategic locations throughout the country. 

Bloom Energy (India) Private Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bloom Energy, was selected for its holistic, comprehensive, and efficient technology ecosystem spanning green hydrogen production and carbon-free power. The initial collaboration between NTPC and Bloom Energy India is expected to serve as a foundation for expanded future microgrid cooperation. 

The collaboration will utilise Bloom Energy’s solid oxide, high-temperature electrolyser to generate green hydrogen from renewable electricity produced by a nearby floating solar farm. The hydrogen will then be converted into carbon-neutral electricity without combustion through Bloom Energy’s hydrogen fuel cells to power NTPC’s Guest House, a local accommodation intended for use by NTPC employees and guests. The project is expected to commence in 2022 in Simhadri, Visakhapatnam, India. 

The solar farm, coupled with Bloom Energy’s electrolyser and hydrogen fuel cells is intended to operate around the clock. At scale, the combination could enable long-duration clean energy storage and resilient power for businesses, residential neighbourhoods, dense urban areas, and remote and island communities. 

India is pursuing aggressive plans to move towards renewable energy and storage capacity while ensuring grid stabilisation for its citizens. Hydrogen is a natural complement to renewable sources of energy, leveraging excess peak power created during the day for conversion into hydrogen to provide pollution-free, reliable power that provides long-duration storage. 

“Reducing carbon emissions is the number one priority in the fight against climate change, and green hydrogen will be critical to India’s decarbonisation objectives,” said Venkat Venkataraman, executive vice president and chief technology officer, Bloom Energy.  

“Bloom’s technology is well-positioned to help India transition to a net-zero, hydrogen-powered economy, and we are excited to collaborate with NTPC to bring the country’s first green hydrogen microgrid to life. The powerful combination of Bloom’s high-efficiency electrolysers and fuel cells enables the highest possible round-trip efficiency with green hydrogen for energy storage.” 

Bloom Energy says that their high-temperature electrolyser produces hydrogen more efficiently than low-temperature PEM and alkaline electrolysers. Because it operates at high temperatures, the Bloom Electrolyser requires less energy to break up water molecules and produce hydrogen. Electricity accounts for nearly 80 per cent of the cost of hydrogen from electrolysis. By using less electricity, hydrogen production becomes more economical and will accelerate adoption. 

Bloom Energy Servers – solid oxide fuel cells that combine ambient air with a fuel source, such as natural gas, biogas, hydrogen, or a blend of fuels – produce electricity through a non-combustion electrochemical reaction, resulting in reduced carbon emissions, harmful air pollutants, and water use compared to grid alternatives. When hydrogen is used as a fuel source, Bloom Energy Servers emit zero carbon. 

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