Iberdrola has inaugurated its green hydrogen plant in Puertollano (Ciudad Real), which is the largest facility of its kind for industrial use in Europe, and is also the largest plant currently operating in the world.
This facility could make Spain a benchmark in the production and development of this new energy vector, which would make a decisive contribution to the decarbonisation of sectors that are difficult to electrify, such as fertilisers, high-temperature industry and heavy transport.
With a total investment of 150 million euros, which includes both the green hydrogen facilities and a dedicated photovoltaic power plant, the Puertollano plant will be able to produce up to 3,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per year and avoid the emission of 78,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.
His Majesty King Felipe VI, accompanied by the President of the Regional Government of Castilla-La Mancha, Emiliano García-Page, and the Chairman of Iberdrola, Ignacio Galán attended the ceremony.
The project will have zero CO emissions, using renewable energy from an innovative 100 MW solar photovoltaic plant integrated into the facility.
This plant – the company’s first of its kind in Spain – has bifacial panels and a lithium-ion battery system with a storage capacity of 20 MWh. Its bifacial modules allow for higher production, as they have two light-sensitive surfaces. It will thus have an annual output of around 156,000 MWh.
During his speech, Ignacio Galán explained that the plant presented today represents the start of a major plan of more than 2,000 million euros to replace imported gas with green hydrogen in the production of ammonia for fertilisers.
The Chairman of Iberdrola highlighted the company’s investments in “all technologies that contribute to decarbonising the economy and increasing energy independence” with projects such as this one, “the result of Iberdrola’s philosophy of supporting the reindustrialisation of the country”. Ignacio Galán also expressed his confidence in the full commitment of the public administrations “so that we can continue to make Spain a leading country in sectors of the future, such as renewable energies and, now also, green hydrogen and its industrial derivatives”.
The city of Puertollano could also benefit from a new project being promoted by Iberdrola to use the waste heat produced at the hydrogen plant in the future, as a result of the electrolysis process, to create a 100% green heat network in the municipality. This initiative – a pioneering one for the company – will make it possible to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels for heating in the town.
The green hydrogen produced at the Iberdrola plant can be used in the Fertiberia Group’s ammonia factory in Puertollano, which, thanks to this technology, will be able to reduce the plant’s natural gas needs and will become the first European company in its sector to develop a large-scale experience in green ammonia generation.
The start-up of the Puertollano plant represents the first phase of the plan that envisages the development by Iberdrola of 40,000 tonnes per year of green hydrogen for Fertiberia’s consumption between now and 2027, with a potential investment of 1,800 million euros. This initiative would represent 20% of the national target for 2030 and would ensure that around 25% of the hydrogen currently consumed in Spain does not generate CO emissions2 .
This project has been submitted to the Spanish Hydrogen IPCEI, which is subject to analysis by the European Commission. Its materialisation depends on obtaining the expected public support.