The pan-European BioCat Consortium is excited to announce the launch of its commercial scale power-to-gas demonstration project in Denmark. The 1-MW facility will use excess wind energy to produce pipeline-grade renewable gas for storage in the Danish natural gas grid. Located at the wastewater treatment plant Avedøre in Copenhagen, the BioCat Project has an overall budget of DKK 49.9 million (€6.7 million) and once operational, it will be the largest power-to-gas facility based on biological methanation in the world. Regular updates will be available at www.biocat-project.com.
Power-to-Gas is an innovative energy storage technology capable of storing large amounts of excess electricity produced in energy systems with high penetration of intermittent renewables (mainly wind and solar energy). By converting electrical energy to chemical energy in the form of methane, energy can be injected into the existing natural gas infrastructure to a practically unlimited extent.
Once in the grid, the renewable gas can be stored for long periods of time, transported geographically via existing pipelines, and used for power production, in transportation, or for heating applications in households and industry. As such, power-to-gas represents a powerful solution, not only for the energy storage challenge but also for decarbonizing the transportation sector, explains Dominic Hofstetter, VP of Business Development at Electrochaea.
The main objective of the project “Power-to-Gas via Biological Catalysis (P2G-BioCat)” is to design, engineer, construct, and test a 1-MW power-to-gas facility at the wastewater treatment plant Avedøre in Copenhagen, Denmark. During 3,000 hours of operation, the facility will use wind energy produced in times of low power demand to produce hydrogen by means of water electrolysis. This hydrogen is then combined with CO2 and converted by microorganisms to methane, the principal component of natural gas. After this methanation step, the renewable gas will be injected into a low-pressure gas distribution grid supplying the greater Copenhagen area.
The facility will be operated according to an optimized trading strategy developed with a view toward maximizing value capture and mimicking the intermittent nature of wind and solar energy. Additional project objectives include the delivery of frequency regulation services to the Danish power grid and the recycling of heat and oxygen in the wastewater treatment plant.
The project has an overall budget of DKK 49.9 million (€6.7 million) and is generously supported by ForskEL, a technology demonstration support scheme administered by Energinet.dk. Kim Behnke, Head of Environment, Research and Development at Energinet.dk, remarks: “’Now we will finally create the link between Denmark’s abundance of wind power and production of eco-friendly gas to the Danish gas grid. The integration is a quite necessary piece of the puzzle, when we are going to transform the energy systems and phase out the coal, oil and the natural gas system in the long term.”
Gas production is expected to begin by the middle of 2015 and the project is anticipated to conclude by December 2015. If successful, the BioCat Project will lift the technology to market readiness and allow for market introduction by the beginning of 2016.
The BioCat Project is led by a high-profile, pan-European consortium covering the entire value chain of power-to-gas energy storage:
In addition, the Danish power and gas transmission grid operator Energinet.dk will provide technical and administrative advice to support the execution of the project.