RWE has launched its power-to-gas plant in the NRW location of Ibbenbüren. The plant is part of a new system that links together the supply of local electricity, natural gas and district heating.
Any superfluous electricity from renewable sources is converted into hydrogen so it can be stored within the natural gas network. It can then be recalled from there at a later date for use in electricity production that boasts an extremely high utilisation rate. This power-to-gas process is seen as one of the key technologies for tomorrow’s energy supply. A central element of the power-to-gas plant is an electrolyser the size of a shipping container, which was built by the UK firm, ITM Power. The electrolyser converts into hydrogen any power from renewable sources such as solar panels or wind turbines that is not immediately required. It is then mixed into the natural gas network via a gas pressure regulation station where the waste heat of the electrolyser is also utilised. The power-to-gas plant of RWE in Ibbenbüren has a rated power output of 150 kilowatts and creates hydrogen under 14-bar pressure.