For three years the concept of power-to-gas has electrified both energy and mobility industry. After successful testing of the new green energy storage technology, on 25 June, the first plant of industrial scale was inaugurated in Werlte, Lower Saxony. The Stuttgart-based plant manufacturer ETOGAS GmbH (formerly SolarFuel) has timely developed and built the world's largest power-to-gas plant. Customer and operator is the Audi AG.
The plant has a capacity of six megawatts of connected wattage and converts green electricity surpluses into renewable hydrogen and methane. The system will generate an average of three million cubic meters of renewable synthetic methane per year. Federal Environment Minister Peter Altmaier sent a video greeting for the plant’s inauguration. In fall of 2013, the trial operation of the entire system will be completed. The project represents a landmark venture for future power-to-gas plants on an industrial scale.
The system for the Ingolstadt-based car manufacturer has over 25 times the connected wattage of the so far world's largest power-to-gas plant. This plant was already put in operation in October 2012 at the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) - the R&D partner of ETOGAS - in Stuttgart as part of a project funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). Research at the plant is preparing the industrialisation of the technology. The experiences and results gained will now benefit the new plant in Werlte.
The renewable synthetic methane, called Audi e-gas, is provided for customers of the new A3-tron g. With this fuel motorists can drive virtually carbon dioxide-neutral with CO2 emissions of 20 grams per kilometre. The amount of gas made available by the Werlte plant supplies 1.500 g A3-tron with an annual mileage of 15,000 kilometres - 22.5 million km in total.
"With the inauguration of the 6-megawatt plant, we start with the commercial application of this new power storage technology," says ETOGAS CEO Dr. Karl Maria Gruenauer. "In the coming years, we will provide the market with plants that have connected wattage of up to 20 megawatts and we will reduce investment costs to levels necessary for energy management applications."
NGVA Europe member the ETOGAS GmbH develops, manufactures and sells systems for the conversion of excess green electricity into hydrogen and methane. Customers can route electricity from wind in storms and from PV- systems at noon, which are not needed to cover load, into secure distribution through the existing gas network. The plant manufacturer from Stuttgart is a leader in the development of power-to-gas technology. Cogeneration plants, cars and industry can use the renewable gas. The technique ensures that highly fluctuating sources like wind and solar energy are integrated into a reliable supply of energy - renewable electricity becomes storable for a long time and obtainable everywhere.
Source: ETOGAS GmbH
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