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Work Package 3

Demonstrator of a complete qualified and integrated hydrogen storage in a depleted porous reservoir 

The main objective of this work package is to demonstrate the technical feasibility of pure hydrogen storage in a depleted porous natural gas reservoir in Austria. The existing hydrogen storage facility of RAG’s USS-2030 project will be upgraded with additional components (e.g. purification unit) to reach TRL-8. With the upgraded facility a competitive, end-to-end user operation of a hydrogen storage facility over 4 full storage cycles in a real environment will be demonstrated. The fact that a pilot facility is already available and will already provide actual data to this project makes the setting a unique opportunity as apart from RAG projects, only laboratory studies have been conducted up to this point. As for the costs of the purification subunit, it is to be demonstrated that the total CAPEX for that part of the system does not exceed 0,2 €/kg H2

A further objective is to fully integrate the porous gas storage facility in a local renewable energy system. This means that all components from the electricity generation via PV modules up to an end-user in the form of a CHP will be available to operate the storage facility integrated into a real-live energy system. The four storage cycles will generate operational know-how both from the surface and subsurface operations. It will be exploited in WP 4 to optimise porous storage designs in different locations in Europe and to generate a best practice example for a future porous hydrogen storage facility.  
The existing MMV plan implemented at the pilot facility will be optimised in WP 2 based on the evaluation of additional monitoring techniques and integrated into the upgraded demonstrator. Thereby, monitoring techniques such as permanent subsurface corrosion monitoring or advanced microbial growth monitoring, going beyond state of the art can be implemented into the storage demonstrator. The monitoring results will feed back into WP 2 where a best practice monitoring plan for European hydrogen storages will be developed. 

In addition, the facility will be operated on actual supply and demand scenarios supplied by AGGM and LAG. The data gained from the operation according to this scenario will be exploited in WP 5 to showcase realistic operational scenarios of a future RES system in different European regions and production/demand settings. 

To guarantee exploitation and replicability of the results generated during four storage cycles another essential objective is the handling and distribution of the generated data to the project partners. Learnings and data gained will be evaluated after each storage cycle with all project partners to feed into their replicator designs. Naturally, the experiences gained will also feed back into the demonstrator to optimise operation schemes.

Hydrogen produced from electrolysis should be certified under accordance of a green hydrogen certification scheme, to account for the usage of sustainably produced green hydrogen from renewable electricity sources, in the course of this project. Furthermore, the currently arising market for green gases should be monitored continuously and hydrogen guarantees of origin either sold via markets or cancelled for self-use within this project.
The final objective is to maximise replicability of all results of the operation of the demonstrator by performing a final analysis of all real-life data gained in the storage cycles. These will feed into a final optimisation loop in WP 4 and WP 5 to be exploited for the best practice cases that can be applied to different storage scenarios throughout Europe and beyond.

Lead of Work Package 3:

RAG Austria AG
Schwarzenbergplatz 16
1015 Wien