LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ITM Power (AIM: ITM), the energy storage and clean fuel company, provides an update on the Thüga Group (“Thüga”) ground-breaking Power-to-Gas (“P2G”) energy storage project following its first full year of successful operation. Thüga reported that the system has been declared ‘technically able to participate in the secondary power market’. This means that the electrolyser is technically capable of offering grid balancing services, which increases the economic viability of the technology.
The system has now undergone and passed its first annual re-assessment by TÜV Hessen. The electrolyser system has met every aspect of its specification including efficiency, remote control functionality and response time. The data for the plant has been shared with the partners under the project partnering agreement. The 300kW plant is the first and only rapid response PEM electrolyser plant to be injecting hydrogen into the German gas network. The first injection was on 26 November 2013.
The compliance challenge was significant, requiring CE conformity plus a permit to operate from TÜV Hessen. The process involved several independent assessments by UK Notified Bodies and TÜV, a thorough process which has contributed to ITM Power’s knowhow and experience while developing productive relationships.
After Site Acceptance testing, the electrolyser has undergone an extensive test programme devised by EIFER, the European Institute for Energy Research together with DVGW-EBI. This included multiple start/stop tests together with load modulation over the systems full range in order to challenge the systems reliability and to validate the ability of the system to assimilate intermittent renewable power.
A lighthouse project
In addition to technical success, the plant has also served as a lighthouse project attracting more than 300 visitors from multiple sectors around the world, as well as significant press interest, reflected not least in some 80 newspaper articles dealing with the plant. The project has enabled both ITM Power and the members of the Thüga Group to demonstrate the principle of PEM Power-to-Gas in action.
Dr Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM Power commented: “ITM Power is delighted to have supplied the first and only rapid response PEM electrolyser plant to be injecting hydrogen into the German gas network. The first anniversary of injection demonstrates that there is a working solution to the problem of storing and managing renewable energy.”
Phil Doran, MD of ITM Power GMBH commented: "The project continues to prove the technical capability of ITM Power’s P2G product and the value of our cooperation with Germany’s leading association of civil utilities, the Thüga Group. Our continued involvement with the project has yielded substantial benefits to us all."
Dr. Elke Wanke, project leader, Thüga Aktiengesellschaft says of Power-to-Gas, “I would argue that the technology’s deployment is inevitable owing to the amount of renewables coming on stream, and that by 2050 – based on our studies - there is likely to be a need to store as much as 50TWh. The annual storage capacity of the German gas distribution network is about four times larger than this quantity – and that’s the charm of P2G.”
For further information please visit www.itm-power.com
About the Project
The project partners are: badenova AG & Co. KG, Erdgas Mittelsachsen GmbH, Energieversorgung Mittelrhein AG, erdgas schwaben GmbH, Gasversorgung Westerwald GmbH, Mainova Aktiengesellschaft, Stadtwerke Ansbach GmbH, Stadtwerke Bad Hersfeld GmbH, Thüga Energienetze GmbH, WEMAG AG, e-rp GmbH, ESWE Versorgungs AG with Thüga Aktiengesellschaft as project coordinator.
Delivery of the Thüga plant was a significant management test for ITM Power as the timescale was short and it was the first deployment of the Company’s HGas platform in a Power-to-Gas application. It was particularly satisfying to demonstrate the ability to coordinate all of the strands associated with such a complex project. All project targets were hit on time and to the satisfaction of Mainova AG who host the installation, NRM who manage the gas network in Frankfurt and the Thüga project team.
Timeline of ITM Power Announcements:
08 May 2014: Thüga Group’s Power-to-Gas plant officially commissioned and operational
21 Feb 2014: Formal acceptance testing of the Thüga Group Plant
04 Dec 2013: First Injection of Hydrogen into the German Gas Distribution Grid
30 Sept 2013: Thüga plant delivered on schedule
09 July 2013: Commencement of Construction of German Power-to-Gas Plant
13 Mar 2013: First Sale of ‘Power-to-Gas’ Plant in Germany
About ITM Power plc:
ITM Power plc was admitted to the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange in 2004 and raised its initial funding of £10m gross in its IPO. Further funding rounds of £28.5m in 2006, £5.4m in 2012, £2m in 2013 and £10m in 2014 have been completed. The Company has now made the transition from a research and development company to a product manufacturer and technology provider. The Company has both a strong base of intellectual property and engineering expertise for providing complete hydrogen solutions.
The Company now has £6.97m of projects under contract and £1.04m of new projects subject to final contract negotiation.
About Thüga Group:
560 cities and boroughs with responsibility for the living environment of around ten million people have brought together their 100 municipal energy and water utility companies to form the Thüga Group. The aim is to create added value for each environmental area and to secure local values long-term through their collaboration. In total the Thüga Group employs 18,100 staff. They provide almost 3.9 million customers with electricity, around 2.1 million customers with natural gas and 0.9 million customers with drinking water. The turnover of the Thüga network in 2013 was 23.3 billion euros.
The Thüga Group is Germany's largest municipal network of local and regional energy suppliers. The roles are clearly allocated within the Thüga Group: the 100 partners take care of active marketing efforts with their local and regional brands. Thüga – financial partner of the cities and boroughs and, in this capacity, minority shareholder in the partner companies – is the core element of the group and is tasked with business development: attracting new partners, value retention and development of the company, coordination and facilitation of projects as well as control of collaboration in the group.