BayWa re to develop hybrid solar-storage-hydrogen project in France – pv magazine International

The Community of Communes of Haute-Saintonge on the mid-Atlantic coast of France has chosen BayWa re to develop an innovative hybrid project on the site of the Pôle Mécanique de la Haute Saintonge.

BayWa re is currently working on a 40 MWp solar project with an annual production of 52 GWh initially, coupled with an energy storage system. The capacity of the storage system was not specified. Eventually, the project will be used in the production of green hydrogen, via a partnership with Lhyfe.

France’s Lhyfe will develop the green hydrogen production side of the hybrid facility, which will use solar generation. According to BayWa re, there is a market for green hydrogen among manufacturers, local authorities, associations, schools, urban transport operators, all within a radius of 150 km around the site.

However, a year-long study of the potential for local use will be conducted before firm plans are made for the production of green hydrogen. BayWa re wants the local community to invest in the project during its development and to become a majority shareholder during the construction and operation phase.

“This project will be a model for regions that want to actively participate in the energy transition, in particular as an investment opportunity for local authorities,” said BayWa re France Managing Director Céline Tran.

French President Emmanuel Macron has made no secret of his country’s interest in green hydrogen, as it is one of the country’s development goals for 2030. Macron mainly wants to produce green hydrogen through nuclear energy, but there is still an opportunity for solar electrolysis.

With green hydrogen projects on hold for the short term, the real focus of the project is its solar storage potential. BayWa re said its solar-plus-storage hybrid will be able to integrate “optimally” into the grid, where it will “help secure electricity supply, especially during the winter peak period.”

BayWa re France’s Director of Innovation, Mathieu Bordeleau, said the company wants “this project to be a showcase of innovation in France that highlights the benefits of combining flexibility tools with the production of ‘renewable energy”. He added that the company is “undertakes to demonstrate (sic) the technical feasibility of the project, but also its economic relevance with regard to all the services provided.

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