Energy companies Total and ENGIE have partnered to design, build and operate the largest green hydrogen production facility in France.
The Masshylia project will be built in Châteauneuf-les-Martigues in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur South region. The site will be built at Total’s La Mède biorefinery facility and will be powered by a 100MW solar PV plant.
The facility will have a total electrolyser capacity of 40MW to produce 5 tonnes of green hydrogen per day. The green hydrogen will be used to power Total’s La Mède biorefinery, avoiding 15,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.
Five innovative technologies will be integrated with the project namely:
- A digital piloting system for the continuous supply of hydrogen with real-time management of solar electricity production,
- Optimising the integration of several photovoltaic farms supplying the electrolyser to minimise energy losses and limit grid congestion,
- Large-scale hydrogen storage to balance intermittent electricity production and continuous hydrogen consumption,
- A direct current connection between a photovoltaic farm and the electrolyser to improve the energy balance,
- Enhanced industrial safety thanks to the use of 3D digital models for each component of the installation.
Beyond this first phase, new renewable farms may be developed by the partners for the electrolyser, which has the capacity to produce up to 15 tonnes of green hydrogen per day.
The construction of the hydrogen facility is set to begin in 2022 for production to start in 2024.
Philippe Sauquet, president gas, renewables & power at Total, said: “Innovation and sustainability are at the heart of this joint project. As demonstrated by our commitment to the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance, we believe in the future of renewable hydrogen, and we are working with our partner Engie to make it happen. This renewable hydrogen production facility, combined with our expertise in solar energy, is a further step in our commitment to get to net-zero by 2050.
“The Masshylia project demonstrates the capacity of Engie to meet the challenges of the energy transition by developing innovative carbon-neutral solutions. The partnership between Engie and Total, by its scale and its very ambitious integrated approach, embodies Engie’s renewable hydrogen development strategy to reduce our clients CO2 footprint. It also paves the way for a multi-usage renewable hydrogen hub in the near future, strongly rooted in the region and with an international outreach,” adds Gwenaëlle Avice-Huet, Engie’s EVP in charge of renewable energies.