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The international company Enapter wants to scale up renewable production of hydrogen electrolysers, thus contributing to the expansion of green industry. It has appointed VINCI Energies to perform the engineering and installation of the electrical infrastructure required for the project.

Credit: Enapter GmbH

Credit: Enapter GmbH

Green industry is not just a figment of the imagination. Some businesses are working to make it a reality. Take Enapter, a clean technology company that manufactures electrolysers, – devices used to generate hydrogen – in Pisa, Italy. In order to ensure the hydrogen is “green”, the company’s managers decided to build an additional production centre that will run solely on renewable energy generated on-site.

The facility will come on stream in 2023 and will gradually become automated with a view to producing electrolysers ranging from microwave-sized units up to containerised 1 Megawatt output systems. Based in Saerbeck near Münster (in North Rhine-Westphalia in western Germany), the 82,000m2 Enapter Campus will use the electricity generated by solar PV panels installed on the rooftops of its buildings. The production centre will have a PV capacity of 2,100MWh per year, the equivalent of the power requirements of more than 600 3-person homes and enough to cover 60% of the electricity needed to produce the plant’s electrolysers.

Fully energy self-sufficient

Furthermore, the Enapter Campus will be directly linked to the Saerbeck Bio-energy Park. The site, founded as part of a citizens’ initiative and located in the immediate vicinity of the future factory, is equipped with wind turbines, a solar farm and a biogas plant. It generates twice the amount of energy needed by the municipality of Saerbeck (which is home to 7,000 people). This connection to the bio-energy park will enable the Enapter production unit to be fully energy self-sufficient and independent from the main grid, since it also covers hot water and heat production.

The “Life Cycle Impact Zero” project aims to do without grey energy entirely.

In time, the green hydrogen produced by electrolysers during testing and control phases will be used in a combined heat and power plant to drive heat pumps or to ensure the emergency power supply. Enapter’s goal is to achieve carbon-neutral production.

Indeed, its “Life Cycle Impact Zero” project aims to do without grey energy entirely. This is the total energy consumed throughout the life cycle of its electrolysers (raw material extraction, packaging, transportation, storage, distribution, sale, use, upkeep and recycling). In the future, the company even wants to recover and re-use all the components and materials of its electrolysers so as to produce new ones.

Contract covering all of the electrical infrastructure on site

As part of this ambitious project, Enapter – together with its general contractor swb Services, technical service provider from Bremen (Germany) – appointed the company Actemium Energy Projects Münster (Germany) to electrify the Campus. This VINCI Energies subsidiary, which also supports the Saerbeck bio-energy park, signed the contract in March 2022. “Our job covers the engineering, delivery, installation and commissioning tests for the entire electrical infrastructure across the site (switchboards, substations, wiring, etc.),” says Björn Timm, business developer at Actemium Germany.

However, VINCI Energies’ dedicated industrial processes business unit intends to go further. “We are discussing issues involving adjustments to the park and the energy management system with Enapter and Omexom Smart Technologies. The integration of several renewable energy producers into the medium voltage grid requires careful consideration about standards and regulations. And that’s where we’d like to support Enapter,” concludes Björn Timm.