Approval for construction of large electrolyser plant in Germany

12 September 2023

A 200 MW hydrogen project in Germany has passed an important milestone – the authorities in Oldenburg have granted permission to the operating company Nukleus Green H2, a subsidy of RWE, for the construction and operation of the first two 100 MW electrolysers on the site of the RWE gas-fired power plant in Lingen.

The plant will be able to produce up to 35 000 tonnes of green hydrogen per year, and is intended to enable industrial companies to significantly reduce their carbon emissions. This electrolyser project is the first production plant for hydrogen in the country of this size.

In Germany, approval on the basis of the Federal Emission Control Act is a prerequisite for such large-scale plants being built and operated. All relevant potential effects, e.g. emissions, must be examined thoroughly in the process. The 78-page approval document issued by the authority specifies exactly which technical, organisational and environmental requirements must be met during construction and operation.

The Lingen site plays a key part in RWE’s hydrogen strategy. The company wants to install hydrogen generating capacities of 300 MW in 100 MW increments by 2027 as part of the GET H2 project. By the end of 2023, RWE will have commissioned a 14 MW pilot plant in Lingen to test the use of the two electrolyser technologies (PEM, and pressurised alkali) that are being considered for future hydrogen projects.

GET H2 Nukleus is among the large-scale hydrogen projects that were nominated in 2021 by the German government and the federal states for funding under the ‘Important Projects of Common European Interest’ (IPCEI) programme. However, as of yet, a binding commitment for funding has not been made. In January, the operating company nonetheless ordered the first two 100 MW electrolysers to ensure that the planned commissioning dates can still be achieved should funding be granted.

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