The Asturias project initiated within the Project Development Assistance by FCH JU aims to develop a full ecosystem of hydrogen production, transport, distribution and use of hydrogen in several sectors.
Illustration : Photo by Miguel Ángel Sanz on Unsplash
The first initiative of the project will build 45 MW of electrolyser capacity in the coal mining valleys in the centre and south of Asturias (“Cuencas Mineras asturianas”), to supply a fleet of public transport vehicles, and for injection in the gas distribution grid. The second initiative will build two green hydrogen production facilities in the centre of Asturias. One will supply a hydrogen refuelling station for heavy vehicles, and the other will be used to test the injection of hydrogen in a combined cycle turbine, to prepare for the future increase of hydrogen concentration in the gas grid. The third initiative is the installation in two phases of 200 MW of onshore electrolyser capacity and 5 M of offshore electrolyser capacity, connected to a new 100 MW onshore wind farm and a 250 MW offshore wind farm off the coast of Asturias.
Hydrogen will be used for local industries (steel manufacturing, shipyards), injection in the gas grid, transport, and export to other European countries. The Region of Asturias and the local energy agency FAEN have been coordinating the ReCoDe initiative during the PDA programme, which aims to facilitate synergies in the overall Asturian hydrogen ecosystem. This will contribute to the energy transition of the region, and to the development of new manufacturing industries in the hydrogen sector.
Overall, support from the Project Development Assistance programme has helped the partners involved in the ecosystem to build the component parts of a complete hydrogen ecosystem in Asturias from hydrogen production to end uses. Consultancy support has initiated collaboration with the stakeholders involved in the future hydrogen value chain. Advice and detailed information on the technical aspects of some components of the projects have been provided. This has included the provision of information on best practices and key learnings observed in other European city and regional hydrogen mobility projects. Discussions with key equipment suppliers were also initiated to refine the technical specifications of the project. Information about relevant European funding calls has also been shared with the partners, along with an analysis of the recommended funding opportunities based on the economic and technical characteristics of the project.
For the final output, the consultants have written a project specification report, presenting the detailed characteristics of the full Asturian ecosystem that has been supported: regional and national energy and hydrogen context, technical specifications of the infrastructure and the vehicle, estimated budget, location of the deployments in Asturias, cost and funding strategy, and implementation strategy. The report will be a key asset for the Region of Asturias, the FAEN and the partners for future funding applications. For the Region of Asturias and FAEN, this is also essential for their ongoing coordination work of the ReCoDe initiative, which aims to attract more stakeholders in Asturias to develop activities related to green hydrogen, and eventually have an operating large-scale network of electrolysers by 2030.
Further details of the launch of future PDAs are expected to be announced by the end of the year.
Source: Project Development Assistance for Regions and Cities, Public Summary Report, Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU)