180 MW Of Solar PV To Anchor HDF’s First Green Hydrogen Project in Kenya

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HDF Energy (Hydrogène de France), a developer of large-scale green hydrogen infrastructure and manufacturer of high-power fuel cells, recently announced the start of development studies, the next step on the path to install the first green hydrogen power plant in Kenya. The announcement was made at the inaugural Africa Climate Summit held last month in Nairobi. HDF says the development studies have now started after 1 year of prospecting in Kenya. This proposed large-scale green hydrogen power plant, which will be the first one of its kind in Kenya, will be located in the coastal region. HDF says it typically takes 2 years of development, and 2 years of construction.

HDF has developed two models for its multi-megawatt power plants:

  • (POWER TO POWER): firm, dispatchable and stable electricity generation from an intermittent renewable source using locally produced green hydrogen.
  • (GAS TO POWER): On-demand power generation from green hydrogen from gas transportation networks or any other green hydrogen projects locally implemented.

These types of projects tend to have a combination of solar PV panels, electrolyzers for green hydrogen production and storage, high power fuel cells, and lithium-ion batteries.

Here is a look at how these kinds of systems operate:

  1. The Solar Power Plant generates the carbon-free primary source of electricity for the Renewstable® Power Plant when the sun is shining.
  2. The Battery Storage provides the end of the day peak power and, in combination with the hydrogen storage, ensures the stability of the electricity service.

The long-term H2 Storage System:

  1. ​Converts electricity from the photovoltaic park into hydrogen using an electrolyzer system during the day, turning water and oxygen into hydrogen
  2. Stores the gaseous hydrogen produced in horizontal metallic tanks
  3. Produces electricity from stored hydrogen using a Hydrogen Fuel Cell during the night

HDF says its Renewstable® power plant is designed to offer clean baseload power with essential grid stabilizing services, in areas where geothermal or hydropower is not available. The plant harnesses the sun’s energy through a solar park and/or the wind energy via a wind farm, producing and storing green hydrogen through water electrolysis, and converting it to electricity on-demand, 24 hours a day, using HDF’s proprietary multi-megawatt fuel cells.

The first Renewstable® being developed by HDF in Kenya will see the deployment of 180 MW of solar PV combined with 500 MWh of long-term hydrogen-based storage, for an investment valued around $500 million.

HDF also says its Renewstable® technology, which is ready for deployment, will accelerate Kenya’s envisioned green hydrogen economy upon successful completion of the development phase of the project. The localization of this innovative power plant will also enable the development of local skills to support the emergence of the hydrogen industries in-country.

HDF Energy’s global footprint now spans across 30 countries, with a significant presence in 8 African nations. Alongside the Kenyan venture, HDF is actively advancing on other hydrogen projects across Africa, in Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda, and DRC.

It is interesting to see that HDF is active in 8 African countries, with proposed projects in the respective countries now at various stages of the development cycle. We will keep an eye on these projects and see how they progress. What are your thoughts on this application of green hydrogen? Let us know in the comments section.

Images courtesy of HDF


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