With the “eFarm” project, Germany’s largest green hydrogen mobility project to date has started. The GP JOULE group of companies is jointly establishing a hydrogen infrastructure in North Frisia, from production and processing to fleet utilisation.
The project will create supply security for 100 percent green, regionally-produced hydrogen for citizens and companies wishing to purchase a hydrogen vehicle. As part of the National Innovation Programme Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI – Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur) has approved investment support totalling 8 million euros for the establishment of five hydrogen production sites, two hydrogen refuelling stations in Husum and Niebüll, as well as the procurement of two fuel cell buses and five fuel cell passenger vehicles. With “eFarm”, GP JOULE seeks to make the refinement of electricity in the region possible and open up new markets for wind energy. The project demonstrates an alternative to the much-disputed issue of grid expansion and makes the abundant wind energy in Schleswig-Holstein usable at a local level.
As part of the joint project, eFarming GmbH & Co. KG, which was initiated by GP JOULE, will now set up and operate a hydrogen production and distribution network in North Frisia that can be extended by modules. In order to stimulate demand and consumption for the start in 2020, two fuel cell buses will be acquired, in addition to five fuel cell passenger cars, and will be deployed on scheduled services in the district of North Frisia. By the end of 2019, five electrolysers (each with 225 kW) will be installed at suitable locations close to the wind turbines and near to heat networks for the production of green hydrogen from wind power in order to supply the two public refuelling stations.
As heat is also generated during the production of hydrogen, it will contribute to supporting the sustainable local supply of heat. The hydrogen is then filled into mobile storage containers and transported by truck to the two hydrogen refuelling stations. There, the hydrogen is compressed even further in order to refuel the buses, but also other hydrogen trucks or passenger cars, as required. The refuelling process only takes a few minutes and one full tank is enough, for example, to travel 350 km by bus or 600 km by car. The vehicles will thus be supplied with 100 percent green hydrogen from the outset. 60 private individuals and business people from the region have already indicated their intention to purchase fuel cell vehicles and use the hydrogen refuelling stations for their operation.