GRENOBLE, France--(BUSINESS WIRE)--McPhy Energy, a leader in stationary energy storage, has become a key player in the GRHYD project launched by the GDF Suez Gas and New Energies Research and Innovation Centre (CRIGEN).
Composed of about 10 French partners, the aim of this program is to offer a flexible solution combining electricity and gas energy management, via the hydrogen vector. An initial 5-year experiment will start shortly in an ecodistrict, based on injection of hydrogen produced from renewable energies into the natural gas network. A second experiment will be conducted at the same time to test Hythane©, a greener fuel, on vehicles running on vehicle natural gas. McPhy Energy provides its expertise in hydrogen storage solutions. This innovating company also aims to smooth the production curve in order to reconcile supply and demand.
The GRHYD project is both ambitious and smart, since its objective is to promote the production of "green" energy, especially that produced by wind turbines. Their output varies considerably, being dependent on weather conditions, and may sometimes exceed demand and saturate the grid. In this case, the production units, for example wind farms, are generally shut down, resulting in a considerable loss of precious energy for France. By using the gas network to store this electricity surplus, GDF Suez and its partners gain a foothold on this promising sector by providing an efficient response to this difficulty. They also plan to comply with European directive 2009/28/C, which sets France the target of a 23 % share of renewable energies in its overall gross energy consumption by 2020.
The general principle consists in recovering the energy surplus generated by the wind turbines and converting it into hydrogen, a storable fuel gas. The gas will then be reinjected on demand into the existing gas network according to requirements. This system, known as "Power to Gas", has already been adopted in Germany and the United States. It offers numerous advantages: promotion of renewable energies, use of an existing infrastructure (the gas network) and production of electricity on demand.
McPhy Energy, an innovating French company, was naturally attracted to this project which perfectly matches its field of expertise. Created in January 2008, McPhy Energy has developed a unique solid hydrogen storage technology using magnesium hydride. These chemical compounds, whose density is much greater than that of a compressed or liquefied gas, offer safe reversible hydrogen storage and transport together with excellent energy efficiency. McPhy Energy thereby provides GDF Suez with its expertise in the storage and production of hydrogen from renewable energies.
With the McPhy Energy storage units, production and distribution can then be separated to allow better control over the quality of the energy transmitted. Injection of this hydrogen in the natural gas network therefore truly bridges the gap between electrical and gas energy networks.
"This is the first structuring project to channel all the energies produced in France, and we are extremely proud to be part of it. Our role will consist mainly in controlling and smoothing the sudden fluctuations in the production of hydrogen from renewable energies, thereby reconciling supply and demand. This is also the opportunity for us to make a full commitment to a promising sector, which will enable us in the future to duplicate this model in projects throughout the world", states Pascal Mauberger, McPhy Energy CEO.
Created in 2008, McPhy Energy is a young French high-tech company, with the mission to industrialise and commercialize an innovative hydrogen storage technology using magnesium hydrides. Offering unique advantages compared with the other hydrogen storage solutions, this technology addresses the industrial hydrogen and renewable energy markets. McPhy Energy owns exclusive rights on a portfolio of patents, which result from over 8 years of research at CNRS, in partnership with Joseph Fourier University. Member of the TENERRDIS competitiveness cluster, McPhy Energy is involved as direct partner or subcontractor in several research projects. McPhy Energy is listed in the Global Cleantech 100 and the Top 5 Cleantech France. The company has recently signed numerous contracts in France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Japan, demonstrating its technological leadership.
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