The Germany energy service provider EWE, in cooperation with German Aerospace Center (DLR), is starting an underground hydrogen storage pilot project near Berlin. It is constructing a salt rock cavern storage facility to store 100% (m3) of hydrogen for the first time at a depth of approximately 1,000 m with a capacity of 500 m3 which is enough for 5 to 6 metrics tonnes of hydrogen.
The project cost is around €10 million, where EWE will account for 40% while the rest of the fund will be financed by the German government. The construction on the project is expected to start by February 2021 and will be completed in a year time. The first test will be conducted in 2022.
Chief Executive Officer Stefan Dohler said “In the second half of 2022, we particularly hope to gain knowledge of the degree of purity of the hydrogen after it has been withdrawn from the cavern. This criterion is particularly important for the use of hydrogen in the mobility sector.”
According to EWE project leader Paul Schneider, in the future, the aim is to use much larger subterranean spaces for storing hydrogen. The cavity of 500 m3 is roughly comparable to a single-family house. “The aim is to use caverns with a volume of 500,000 cubic meters – in which the Eiffel Tower would fit – for hydrogen storage.”