The consortium, comprising Uniper, VNG Gasspeicher GmbH (VGS), ONTRAS Gastransport GmbH, DBI Freiberg and Terrawatt Planungsgesellschaft mbH, intends to explore the production, transportation, storage and efficient use of green hydrogen at the “Energiepark Bad Lauchstädt” in southern Saxony-Anhalt.

German Minister for Economic Affairs, Peter Altmaier (CDU), announced that the project is considered deserving of financial support as a “living lab for the energy transition” and that it had reached the final round of the application process.

The project, planned near Bad Lauchstädt in Saxony-Anhalt, would involve converting renewable electricity from a nearby wind farm into green hydrogen using electrolysis.

The green hydrogen will be placed in underground interim storage in a salt cavern outfitted especially for this purpose and can be fed into the chemical industry’s hydrogen grid via a rededicated gas pipeline and utilized for urban mobility solutions.

The Energiepark Bad Lauchstädt will then serve as a site where every aspect of the intelligent and economically efficient integration of green hydrogen can be tested under real-world conditions and at an industrial scale.

The planned underground salt cavern will be outfitted specifically for storing up to 59 million cubic meters of hydrogen - an amount equivalent to approximately 150 million kilowatt hours of energy, or roughly the annual demand for heating in households in a city of 20,000 residents.

The ministry expects to make a final decision regarding project funding by the end of this year.

The energy transition will only succeed if we are able to store renewable energy, and in so doing make it reliable. Up to now no persuasive economic solution has been available. Our project addresses exactly this issue: We combine the production of green hydrogen from wind power together with the transportation as well as the storage and use of hydrogen for commercial purposes. If it proves successful on a large scale, we’ve found a core component for a secure and sustainable supply of energy,

...noted Eckhardt Rümmler, Chief Operating Officer at Uniper.