June 2021: the first tank was filled with hydrogen at Hysolar/Greenpoint's brand-new public hydrogen station in Nieuwegein. Private cars, buses and trucks are all welcome here. At the same time, the founders of Hysolar - Aannemingsbedrijf Jos Scholman and Allied Waters - teamed up in a far-reaching alliance with two well-known professionals in the energy sector, Van Kessel/Greenpoint and Scholt Energy. The official opening of the filling station will be after the summer.
The opening of the Hysolar/Greenpoint hydrogen station fits in perfectly with the ‘Hydrogen Mobility Covenant for the Province of Utrecht’, which has now been signed by almost 100 organisations. Hysolar puts the principles of a circular economy front and centre/ They believe there is an important role for green hydrogen as a sustainable energy carrier. The next step is to produce green hydrogen. That is planned for 2022. Until then, the filling station will sell hydrogen with CO2 compensation.
Innovator Allied Waters and Aannemingsbedrijf Jos Scholman started using their own hydrogen-powered company cars in 2019, followed by tractors and other heavy equipment. The partners who have now joined Hysolar are a welcome addition: Van Kessel/Greenpoint with its experience with running petrol stations, and Scholt Energy given its role as an energy supplier and balancing service provider for the deployment of the electrolyser, which is expected to go into operation in 2022. The entire chain from the production to the consumption of green hydrogen is now in good hands. With their unique combination of knowledge from the transport, construction, water and energy sectors, the parties involved in the alliance aim to optimise efficiency, price and sustainability in the field of green hydrogen and transport. The four partners are all entrepreneurial and pragmatic in their approach, as demonstrated by the rapid development of this project.
In the future, the green hydrogen will be produced with electricity from the nearby solar farm, which has a capacity of 9 megawatt peak. A 2MW electrolyser produces 250 tonnes of hydrogen annually in continuous operation, enough for 1,000 passenger cars or 50 public transport buses. The green hydrogen can also be taken to other filling stations in tube trailers.
The balance between efficiency, price and sustainability in the field of green hydrogen and transport depends on energy prices, production by the solar farm, demand for hydrogen and demand for dispatchable capacity, and local congestion in the electricity grid. Buffer capacity in the electrolyser allows the filling station to stay in operation while, at the same time, the electrolyser is used optimally on the basis of the available amount of solar energy, the current energy price and demand for dispatchable capacity. In this way, both costs and revenues are kept optimal at all times.
The future electrolyser will be marketed by Hysolar with support from Scholt Energy for the dispatchable capacity of the national grid operator in the Netherlands. That will help to maintain the balance of the grid. With the rise in the availability of wind and solar energy in particular, weather conditions are having an increasing impact on the energy supply. As a result, shortages or surpluses are becoming more frequent, as are limitations on the transport capacity for electricity. That means that dispatchable capacity is becoming more important. Turning the electrolyser up and down automatically to respond to market conditions makes it possible to absorb the peaks and troughs in the grid. The parties are also looking at how the flexibility of the electrolyser can be used to reduce congestion on the national and local grids.
With a view to maximising efficiency and sustainability, studies are now being conducted into whether the residual heat released during the production of hydrogen can be used locally. Hysolar, with support from Allied Waters, is now developing plans in this area with a local purchaser of the heat. This is a step towards making the system as a whole even more sustainable.
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Green hydrogen, from production to delivery, is Hysolar’s domain (www.hysolar.nl). In the new situation, Hysolar unites four shareholders in a strategic alliance with a unique combination of competencies. Together, they make up the basis for the shaping of a green hydrogen chain in a professional way. The new public filling station in Nieuwegein is the first phase in that process.
About Aannemersbedrijf Jos Scholman
Jos Scholman from Nieuwegein is a contracting company in civil engineering, sports- and cultivation engineering (www.josscholman.nl). Scholman goes back 40 years and it has a workforce of more than 200 people. For Jos Scholman, it is clear that clients find sustainability increasingly important when placing orders. The requirements for nitrogen emissions have also been tightened up considerably. To maintain its strong position in the market, the company decided to invest in sustainability. And particularly in hydrogen. Hysolar’s hydrogen filling station is already covered by Jos Scholman’s area of activity. It is the first public hydrogen station in the province of Utrecht.
Robert Scholman – managing director of Aannemingsbedrijf Jos Scholman:
“The integration of zero-emission business operations with a sustainable and flexible energy system creates a win-win scenario for all the parties involved that makes investing in sustainability worthwhile. We hope that this step will allow us to make a contribution to sustainability for future generations and that many will follow our example.”
About Allied Waters
In a circular economy, sustainability and economic feasibility go hand in hand. That is the philosophy of innovator Allied Waters (www.alliedwaters.com), with the focus on innovative concepts relating to water and energy. ‘Make it happen’: with a creative and chain-oriented approach, much more can often be achieved – in the economic sense as well – than would seem to be the case at first sight. In addition to green hydrogen, examples include the ‘upcycling’ of biomass and residues from the water chain and solutions for reusing water. As a rule, we work in public-private partnerships with private companies and research centres such as KWR. Working under the name Hysolar Innovation & Advice, Allied Waters conducts studies and advises about green hydrogen applications, for example for the built environment and shipping.
Jos Boere – Director of Allied Waters:
“Green hydrogen is attracting a great deal of attention but practical application is still in its infancy. And those early days aren’t always easy, even though we have now completed the pioneering phase. Innovation is, and remains, the motto. I am very happy with our new, like-minded, partners. They can make major contributions to Hysolar’s ongoing professional development.”
About Scholt Energy
Scholt Energy (www.scholt.nl) from Valkenswaard in the Netherlands is the energy partner for the business market in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Austria. Scholt has more than 6,500 customers and the company generated revenue of €457 million in 2020. The organisation combines fifteen years of market experience with a very personal, customer-oriented approach. Energy deliveries focus on cost savings and risk spreading by combining fixed and variable prices. Scholt helps its clients with the whole range of energy issues, from energy conservation to solar panels and the automated control of energy flows. The main objective here is a long-term partnership. Scholt Energy’s ambition is to use its activities in the field of flexibility to manage the decentralised energy network of the future and, in that way, to accelerate the energy transition. Scholt currently runs a pool with the largest number of individual batteries in the Dutch FCR market (primary reserve capacity) and it also actively manages a portfolio including wind turbines, CHP units and cold stores in the emergency capacity market (tertiary reserve capacity).
Sander Drissen – Innovation Director at Scholt Energy:
“This unique alliance underlines our ambition to manage the decentralised energy network of the future in a sustainable way. Hydrogen can play an important role here. With this project, we are leading the way in this regard, just as we did previously in the development of large-scale energy storage systems.”
About Van Kessel
The Van Kessel Group (www.vankesselolie.nl) from Milheeze in the Netherlands is an independent trading company in fuels, lubricants and energy. With 98 employees, a network of 34 filling stations and a range of projects in the energy transition, this family company has become a leading player in the transport, construction & infrastructure, agriculture & contract work, industry, garages and filling stations. Under the brand name Greenpoint, the Van Kessel Group is fully committed to initiatives for sustainable mobility. The organisation has already opened eleven Greenpoint multi-energy filling stations with sustainable fuels, built charging plazas for individual companies and installed public rapid chargers. It is now also running the hydrogen filling station in Nieuwegein.
Joan van Kessel – Managing Director at Van Kessel/Greenpoint:
“Our ambition is to establish a network of hydrogen refuelling points, including production and storage plant directly linked to renewable energy sources. We have now actually been able to take the first step thanks to the knowledge, enthusiasm and perseverance of the companies in this alliance.”