Image of Falkenhagen power-to-gas pilot plant. (Source: E.ONs
Image of Falkenhagen power-to-gas pilot plant. (Source: E.ONs "Power-to-gas" program presentation

A power-to-gas (P2G) unit installed by E.ON in Falkenhagen (Germany) last week injected hydrogen produced with surplus wind energy into the natural gas system for the first time as part of a function test. During the test, which lasted three hours, the unit produced 160 cubic meters (5650 cubic feet) of hydrogen, which was injected into the gas pipeline system. It marks the first time E.ON has successfully implemented all stages of the process, from receiving electricity to injecting hydrogen.

The P2G unit receives its power from a nearby wind farm. The power runs electrolysis equipment that transforms water into hydrogen which is injected into the regional gas transmission system. The hydrogen becomes part of the natural gas mix and can be used to generate power or heat.

The P2G unit is scheduled to enter service in late August. Once operational, it will use surplus renewable-source electricity to produce about 360 cubic meters of hydrogen per hour. It will therefore harness renewable-source electricity that otherwise could not be fed into the grid. The region’s wind farms already frequently produce more electricity than the local grid can handle.

E.ON installed the unit in Falkenhagen because the location is ideal. The region has a high output of wind power, the necessary power and gas infrastructure is already on hand, and E.ON has a control center there.