Universal Kraft in partnership with Universal H2, has developed this project for solar to hydrogen production to be injected into the natural gas pipeline, supporting the solar market in Portugal as well as the hydrogen development in this country.

By combining the long experience of Universal Kraft power development with the Hydrogen competence of Universal H2, solar and hydrogen can model a viable non-fossil value chain.

Green hydrogen is currently considered one of the most important forms of renewable energy in the future. H2 from renewables is a clean gas that can be used for energy generation and energy storage, capable of generating electricity after storage, as well as serving as fuel for transportation, industry, domestic use, among others.

Universal Kraft intends to use the energy produced from this solar plant either to be injected into the grid as well as to produce green hydrogen to be blended into the natural gas pipelines, aligning its goals with the development of the hydrogen and solar market in Portugal.

solar to hydrogen

Solar to Hydrogen

According to its NECP the Portuguese government is promoting an industrial policy focusing on hydrogen and renewable gases. Policies and measures are planned to coordinate and mobilize public and private investments in renewable hydrogen production, storage, transport and end-use projects. This new focus on hydrogen in Portugal is based on the favorable conditions to deploy a renewable hydrogen market given the possibility to increase significantly the production of renewable electricity at low cost while bringing the required flexibility to the electricity system.

Portugal can also consider using its existing methane infrastructure for hydrogen transport and distribution, by blending hydrogen in the public grid in the short (2025-2030) and medium term (2030-2040) and potentially converting (part of) its network to 100% hydrogen in the long term (>2040). As the share of polyethylene in the distribution network is relatively high, it could be converted to hydrogen at relatively low cost. However, conversion of the distribution networks to dedicated hydrogen pipelines would be a longer-term consideration, as the hydrogen production volumes are expected to be relatively low until 2030. In the short and medium term, hydrogen could hence be blended with methane in the existing grid, without the need for physical adjustments to the transport and end-use infrastructure

Taking this in consideration, by blending 5-20% of green hydrogen in the current natural gas grid pipelines, the decarbonization of this sector is also possible now in Portugal.

The land selected for the project occupies a total of 15.7 Ha and located in Torres Vedras.

This area has the advantage of being located next to a natural gas substation which will allow the injection of the green hydrogen produced for future use. In addition, a power line crosses through the land in case a connection point is sought or electricity is required in hours of low irradiation for the generation of this gas.

The solar park is estimated to have:

  • Installed DC Power: 10310 [kWp]
  • Energy Produced: 18839 [MWh]

The hydrogen results:

  • Annual Hydrogen Production: 280 [ton/year]
  • Water Consumption: 9000 [m3/year].
  • Total Power Of The Electrolysers: 7.8 [MW]. This value is equivalent to the nominal power of the installed electrolyser.
  • Percentage Of Hours Of Use Of The Electrolyser: 42.36%. This value is equivalent to an average of around 10 hours of operation per day. This is due to the fact that the electrolysers do not work when their power is less than 10% of their nominal power.

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