ABO Wind is connecting a wind park with the manufacture and use of green hydrogen: the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport is supporting the Hünfeld-Michelsrombach project under the National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology in the amount of approximately twelve million euros. The funding guideline is coordinated by NOW GmbH and implemented by Project Manager Jülich (PtJ).

“We have been working intensively on the topic of hydrogen for about ten years and are delighted to now implement a project for the first time”, says ABO Wind Chairman Dr. Jochen Ahn. In the Hessisches Kegelspiel industrial park in Hünfeld (Michelsrombach district), ABO Wind is planning the construction and operation of a wind energy plant as well as an electrolyser with  a hydrogen refuelling station for trucks and buses. The permit application for the wind energy plant with an installed power of 4.8 megawatts has already been submitted. The electrolyser will initially be designed for a 5 megawatt capacity. After ten years, an upgrade to 7.5 megawatts is planned in order to meet the anticipated increasing demand for hydrogen.

The green hydrogen is to be generated by means of water electrolysis in the industrial park and supplied primarily to trucks in the public hydrogen refuelling station which is also to be constructed. It could also be used at a later stage for cars. Around 50 trucks can be refuelled daily on site at the station. The facility is designed in such a way that some of the hydrogen can be removed by truck to remote customers via mobile storage units – so-called trailers. This way the project not only contributes to the transport transformation, but also provides industrial and commercial customers the opportunity to successively make their processes climate-friendly.

“What’s innovative about the project is the direct connection line between the wind energy plant and the electrolyser. It enables the hydrogen production to be aligned with the wind supply.”, says Dr. Jochen Ahn. This type of storage system is an important building block for a sustainable energy system. If no wind is blowing, the electrolyser can draw power from the grid. According to initial calculations, the project will prevent annual emissions of 115,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide as well as additional nitrogen oxides. This effect will increase even more: near the refuelling station there will be a laundry that could reduce its gas consumption by using waste heat from the electrolyser. In addition, the oxygen produced by the electrolysis can be ideally used for bleaching and disinfecting.

The hydrogen project came about from the HyExpert project ‘HyWheels’ from 2019, which was to make East-Hesse the pioneer for carbon-neutral logistics. At the start of 2023, another project was launched as part of the H2 cluster: the HyWheels Hesse fleet. The objective is to build one of the largest fleets of fuel cell vehicles. This is to assume a pilot function as a type of real-lab in Germany, record data on H2 truck use, particularly H2 components, connect refuelling stations and execute a service concept.