About H2CoopStorage

1. Objectives

H2 Coopstorage aims to develop methodological and software tools enabling the deployment and management of a multi-energy EC integrating a hybrid solution of electric and hydrogen storage, in a collective self-consumption context.

Creation of methodological tools

The methodological tools aim to anticipate the environmental, economic, security and societal consequences. The results will participate in the use of the dimensioning tool and will reassure public and private funding during the replication of the project.

Creation of software tools

The software tools aim to set up and manage a multi-energy EC:

  1. Sizing tool - Defines holistically the needs in terms of production, storage and flexibility. It makes it possible to define the economic aspects, and to adapt the business models according to the previous results;
  2. EMS - Allows to manage the means of production (multiple sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, hydraulic), storage (hydrogen, electric, heat), flexible loads of the EC dynamically. This too will be based on IoT data and model predictive control approach (MPC).

Living Labs and Pilot site

The methodological tools will be developed and applied on three living labs:

  1. In Mortsel located near Antwerp in the Flemish Region. It already presents a basic REC, developed as part of the DeeldeZon InterReg project. The perimeter includes photovoltaic panels (13kWc), several consumption profiles (households, electric cars, cultural center) and a saltwater electrochemical battery (13 kW);
  2. In Nivelles located in the Walloon Region. The perimeter includes renewable photovoltaic (25 kWc) and wind energy facilities (4 wind turbines of 2MW), several consumer profiles (household, hotel, tertiary building, electric cars, a city gas pipeline (low pressure), opportunity for hydrogen cars and for valorising heat);
  3. In Hellisheiði Power Station, located about 30km east of Reykjavik in Iceland. The Hellisheiði Power Station uses geothermal heat from the Hengill Volcane to produce low carbon renewable electricity (300 MW) and thermal energy (133 MWth). At this location electricity and thermal energy could be used for hydrogen production.

The software tools will be tested on a real pilot site in Mortsel. As part of the project, we plan to install a 10 kWe fuel cell (1m3 tank at 350 bars for hydrogen storage), such as the Solenco power box, and more PV panels, depending of the size of the REC. This experience will make it possible to test the tools in real time, at affordable costs.

2. Context

H2 CoopStorage project is part of the context of the transformation of our electrical system by seeking to implement a hybrid solution of hydrogen, heat and electric storage within a Citizen Energy Community, in a context of collective self-consumption. These storage solutions foster the integration of renewable energies on the network and thus improve their deployment.

Historically, networks have been designed to allow a small number of centralized electricity generating facilities to distribute electricity to many consumers. With the deployment of the means of production in renewable energies, necessary to reach the objectives of Paris Agreements, the means of energy production multiply and decentralize.

This decentralization leads to an additional cost of electricity due to the need to strengthen the distribution and transport networks, as well as the exchange capacities at the borders. In addition, these means of producing renewable energy, whether wind turbines (small ones of a few tens of kW to large ones of several MW); photovoltaic panels; hydraulic central have intermittences both daily and seasonal.

The H2 CoopStorage project responds to the challenges posed by the deployment of renewable energy production means, by improving local balancing and by reducing renewable intermittences.

Concerning local balancing, a hybrid storage solution can be used to increase the resilience of electricity transmission and distribution networks in a context of increasing the injection of decentralized renewable production, by balancing within “energy cells” (geographic perimeter) and by strengthening the decentralization of storage structures (contribution to the network and to reliability services), this means increasing collective self-consumption at the district level. Moreover, a hybrid solution storage can be used by the TSO’s or other network balancer as tertiary reserve.

Concerning the intermittency of renewable energies, the electrochemical part would reduce the intermittency of production / consumption on a time scale of the order of a few hours, while the hydrogen part would have a much wider temporal scope allowing reduce intermittency to the seasonal level.

Finally, the project will help to intensify the production of renewable energy. Operators must sometimes stop renewable production when the selling prices are negative. Instead of stopping the production because of the negative prices, it would be possible to continue to produce energy and to store it.

To deploy this type of hybrid storage solution, the consortium identified three main barriers:

  1. From a technological point of view, the lack of technical tools allowing the integration of a hybrid storage solution in a network of collective self-consumption – There is a need to create dimensioning tools to measure the technological, economic, environmental and societal consequences of a hybrid storage device.  Moreover, there is need to create a tool for managing several energy flows (electric and hydrogen) dynamically, allowing to arbitrate the use of energy in a cooperative mode within the community (which we call the energy management system - EMS);
  2. From a societal point of view:
    • The lack of integration of stakeholders (end-users such as citizen, tertiary sector; DSO; DTO; electricity and gas supplier; EC manager) in the dual process of self-production and self-consumption, in order to take into account local needs – In this context, it is necessary to ensure that the technical solutions are the most suited to meet the needs of each stakeholder, considering the end-user as actors and building tools community-adapted;
    • The lack of innovative co-created business models for collective self-consumption projects – These co-created business models are allowing all stakeholders to participate in the energy transition, and not to leave some on the side-lines for lack of resources.
  3. From a legal point of view, the absence of regulatory standards (both at national and European level) framing the development of the hydrogen vector – There is a need to take ownership of the technology and begin to define the regulatory framework.

The consortium is aware that the challenges posed by these barriers must be tackled holistically, considering technical, but also economic, environmental, regulatory and social criteria. H2 CoopStorage plans to develop its tools on a real pilot site, within a EC.

The project thus aims to prove the feasibility of integrating a hybrid storage solution within a district, and therefore to reassure public and private investors for a wider deployment. Ultimately, this project will facilitate the deployment of renewable energies and will contribute to the following actions of the ETIP SNET R&I roadmap 2017-264:

  • Develop performant renewable technologies integrated in the energy system;
  • Create new technologies and services for consumer;
  • Increase the resilience and security of the energy system.