With over 90 participants, the public closing event of the HyStarter project of the Zweckverband InterFranken (Special Purpose Association InterFranconia) took place on 4 July 2023. Representatives of the stakeholder group presented the results of the project, which was funded by the German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (Bundesministerium für Digitales und Verkehr), in the city of Feuchtwangen.

The broad-based group of stakeholders of the HyStarter region in the special purpose association consists of the eight municipalities, local operators of wind, PV and bioenergy plants, local and regional energy suppliers and grid operators, educational and research institutions in the region, as well as many medium-sized industrial companies from the vicinity of the envisaged industrial/commercial park. In addition to the development of a target system 2030 for a hydrogen economy in the region of West Middle Franconia, the presentation of a corresponding regional technology concept for the production, distribution and use of green hydrogen as well as a first economic feasibility study, the focus of the work was on the development of ideas for future fields of action. Here are the “Starting Five” of the Zweckverband InterFranken:

  • H2 Hub InterFranken: An electrolysis plant with storage facilities will be built in the InterFranken industrial/commercial park for the production of green hydrogen. The supply of electricity is ensured by the nearby wind energy and PV plants. The hydrogen can be made available to a hydrogen filling station in the park and to the planned competence centre for hydrogen and fuel cell technology in rail transport.
  • Competence centre for hydrogen and fuel cell technology in rail transport: A logistics center for transferring goods from road to rail will be built on the site of the industrial/commercial park in conjunction with a service facility, a workshop and a refueling station for trains powered by fuel cells.
  • Hydrogen pipeline: For the supply of the companies in the industrial areas of Seiderzell and Feuchtwangen-West, hydrogen pipelines will be built from the H2 hub InterFanken to the sites of the companies.
  • The companies HERZ Transporte-Erdbau and HERZ Entsorgung und Logistik are considering converting their vehicle fleet to fuel cell-powered vehicles. The company could start with the waste collection vehicles – various types of which are already available.
  • Electrolysis at the Aichenzell wastewater treatment plant: Independent of the development of the InterFranken industrial/commercial park, an electrolysis plant, fed by renewable electricity from the region, can be built on the site of the Aichenzell wastewater treatment plant. Its additional products, oxygen and waste heat, can significantly increase the efficiency of the wastewater treatment plant’s aeration tanks and reduce energy consumption considerably.

For the economic feasibility analyses, regional assumptions on generation capacities and application options were made across the entire region in consultation with the circle of stakeholders and considered on the basis of different scenarios. It was found that the economic viability can be depicted favorably in the case of all scenarios.
The detailed results of the project can be found in the final report, which can be obtained as a brochure from the office of the Zweckverband InterFranken or downloaded as a pdf file (in Germany) from the websites of the Zweckverband or the HyLand program.