Nexthy is among the Italian beneficiary projects of IPCEI Hy2Tech funding from the 5.4 billion euro fund made available by the European Union for the development of hydrogen-focused initiatives of strategic interest.
It is an industrial-scale innovation laboratory that will be built in Sicily and will allow Enel Green Power to collaborate with start-ups and global players to develop, test and validate new green hydrogen production and storage technologies in a controlled environment, already integrated into the business.
The aim of the project is to test new solutions to decarbonize hydrogen production, which currently, as Enel’s Green Hydrogen Factbook reports, is still produced 99% from fossil fuels.
Enel Green Power’s Hydrogen Industrial Lab is among the winning Italian projects of IPCEI Hy2Tech funding from the 5.4 billion euro fund made available by the European Union for the development of hydrogen-focused initiatives of strategic interest.
Enel Green Power’s Hydrogen Industrial Lab, conceived as part of Nexthy, the company’s initiative to accelerate the implementation of green hydrogen technologies and business, is an industrial-scale innovation laboratory to be built in Sicily between the municipalities of Sortino and Carlentini (Province of Syracuse).
“We are proud that Nexthy is among the strategic interest initiatives selected by the European Union in the prestigious IPCEI Hy2Tech area, which rewards the most innovative and promising hydrogen projects. This platform will be the ideal place to create virtuous synergies with the world of start-ups and research excellence and to respond to one of the main challenges facing Europe: reducing dependence on fossil fuels and accelerating decarbonization,” said Salvatore Bernabei, CEO of Enel Green Power.
“Just as Silicon Valley is the best place for digital, Etna Valley is becoming the ‘Energy Valley’, the best place for the global energy revolution. Here, the NextHy initiative, also through to the IPCEI Hy2Tech funding, will make it possible to work in the full spirit of Open Innovability®, with a unique infrastructure capable of connecting technology providers, industrial partners, system integrators, research centers, venture capitalists and start-ups from all over the world. It is an ecosystem which aims to accelerate the development of green hydrogen production technologies. Open Innovability for us is the answer to climate change: sharing the technological and social challenges that this entails with innovators around the world in order to manage, together and as a whole, an energy transition aimed at finding a truly sustainable way of generating and distributing energy,” commented Ernesto Ciorra, Chief Innovability Officer at Enel.
The laboratory will facilitate collaboration with start-ups and global players in order to develop, test and validate new technologies for the production and storage of green hydrogen in a business-integrated manner, with the aim of contributing to the cost reduction of this technology, which is necessary to foster the decarbonization of hard-to-abate sectors, i.e. those industries where direct electrification is not technically efficient or economically viable.
The unique infrastructure will be integrated with a 4 MW electrolysis system that will serve as a reference for innovative technologies.
This is an ambitious project that will guarantee a reduction in the CO2 emissions of the partners: thanks to the agreement with Sapio with the Industrial Lab NextHy, the green hydrogen produced will be used by companies that look to this renewable source as the solution for decarbonizing their production processes.
The laboratory will house experiments in the fields of electrolyzers, storage systems and accessory components such as compressors, instrumentation, valves, new materials and everything else needed to move hydrogen, and will be powered entirely by green energy through the Carlentini wind farm, which is connected to the electricity grid. This will allow those involved to test not only the efficiency and reliability of their electrolysis technologies, but also their ability to offer flexibility services to the grid. The aim is to accelerate the path to the sale and marketing of these technologies by offering partners an environment that is fully representative of the business in which they will be operating.
The Hydrogen Industrial Lab represents the Group’s contribution to the development and innovation of technologies related to green hydrogen production. In order to enable this technology to contribute in the medium and long term to combating climate change, innovation will accompany the scale-up of the electrolyzer industry. As reported in the Green Hydrogen Factbook produced by Enel, currently as much as 99% of hydrogen at global level is still produced from fossil fuels. This trend can only be reversed through a concrete commitment to testing innovative solutions capable of reducing the cost of producing green hydrogen. On this front, too, the Enel Group is doing its part by developing projects in various countries around the world, including Chile, Spain, the United States and Italy, with precisely this objective in mind.
Enel Green Power®, within the Enel Group, develops and operates renewable energy plants worldwide and is present in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania. A world leader in clean energy, with a total capacity of more than 54 GW and a generation mix that includes wind, solar, geothermal, and hydroelectric power, as well as energy storage facilities, Enel Green Power is at the forefront of integrating innovative technologies into renewable energy plants.