HyPSTER renewable hydrogen storage project inaugurated in France

Hydrogen

France – HyPSTER, the first renewable hydrogen storage demonstrator in a salt cavern financed by the European Union and the Clean Hydrogen Partnership, was inaugurated in France.

This innovative demonstrator, with a total cost of €15.5 million, including €5 million in EU funding, sets the way for the development of an industrial-scale renewable hydrogen storage market as well as for its technical and financial replication at other locations in Europe.

HyPSTER, which was introduced in January 2021 and is now in the implementation phase, will create and store hydrogen at the Etrez site (located close to Lyon, France). A 1 MW electrolyser will produce 400 kg of hydrogen each day on the production side. Test operations will start in the EZ53 cavity on the storage side.

Following this, there will be around 100 cycles of hydrogen pressure change over the course of three months with no hydrogen intake or outflow. With the help of these experiments, it will be possible to verify that hydrogen can be stored with safety requirements that are comparable to those that have been in place for natural gas for more than 70 years. To verify the cavern’s gas quality after these test cycles, the hydrogen will be taken out and examined.

Deployment at industrial scale

The scale will shift after this experimental phase in 2024 when hydrogen production and storage gradually increase until the salt cavern’s full capacity, or almost 50 tonnes (equal to the daily use of 2,000 buses), is used up in 2026. We will be able to provide the hydrogen filling stations and industrial players in the area thanks to this.

To assist the expansion of the sector, a hydrogen pipeline should be built to connect Etrez to the locations of production and consumption.

To prepare for the project’s follow-up, additional research have already been started this summer. At the Etrez site, they want to build enormous hydrogen storage facilities. Four caverns, each holding 6,700 tonnes of hydrogen and located at a depth of 1,300 meters, might be employed.

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Wim Raaijen
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