Enagás Renovable, Alter Enersun, and Extremadura New Energies have established the Extremadura Energy H2 Hub with the aim of advancing renewable energy initiatives28 de July de 2023
- This includes the development of a 180 MW green hydrogen facility and a 350 MW solar photovoltaic park that will be closely linked to the energy usage of a lithium processing plant located in Cáceres, which will be one of the most advanced and decarbonised in the world.
Enagás Renovable, a company owned by Enagás (60%), Hy24 (30%), Pontegadea (5%) and Navantia (5%), Alter Enersun, a company owned by the industrial group Christian Lay, and Extremadura New Energies have created Extremadura Energy H2 Hub, a company with headquarters and tax office in Cáceres that will focus on promoting renewable energy projects.
The company is 50% owned by Enalter (formed by Alter Enersun and Enagás Renovable) and Extremadura New Energies (through Tecnología Extremeña del Litio), and is chaired by Enalter.
The first two projects already approved, with the possibility of further additions in the future, will be located in Cáceres and consist of a renewable hydrogen production facility with a capacity of up to 180 MW and a photovoltaic solar park with a maximum capacity of 350 MW. These initiatives are directly linked to the start-up of a lithium hydroxide processing plant in the same area. The construction phase of these projects is expected to create around 600 job opportunities, with over 50 long-term positions projected.
Studies will be carried out in the first development phase to design, evaluate and determine the technical and economic feasibility of the project, identifying and evaluating the most suitable sites in the municipality of Cáceres and its neighbouring municipalities. An application will then be submitted for the administrative processing of the project in order to be able to start construction in 2025.
In a second phase, the photovoltaic solar plant and hydrogen production plants will be commissioned, starting in 2026, with an initial useful life of more than 25 years.
Decarbonisation and local development
This project’s integral development will contribute to decarbonisation of industrial processes and the development of sustainable lithium mining by supplying the generated renewable energy to the planned Extremadura New Energies lithium processing plant.
The project is in line with the decarbonisation objectives of the European Union, of the RePower EU Plan and the Spanish Roadmap for Renewable Hydrogen. This project also represents a new opportunity to promote social and economic development in Extremadura by creating quality jobs and strengthening the industrial structure in conjunction with the commitment to the energy transition.
The main activity of Extremadura New Energies, a company which also has headquarters and tax domicile in Cáceres, is the development of an integrated industrial project for the production of lithium hydroxide in Cáceres. This is a unique plant in Europe that will contribute to the strategic autonomy of Spain and the European Union as a whole.
Enalter’s objective is to promote, build, operate and maintain facilities for the production of green hydrogen and renewable electricity in order to decarbonise industrial activity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“The participation of two companies with the experience and prestige of Enagás Renovable — owned by Enagás, the technical manager of the gas system in Spain — and Alter Enersun — one of the leading renewable energy developers in Spain, owned by the prominent business group in Extremadura, Grupo Industrial CL — confirms the soundness of the industrial project for the lithium processing plant in Cáceres,” emphasised Ramón Jiménez, CEO of Extremadura New Energies. Jiménez said that “This plant in Cáceres will serve as the ultimate consumer of electricity and hydrogen produced by the renewable energy plants of Extremadura Energy H2 Hub. This further solidifies our commitment to upholding the highest standards of environmental sustainability.”
In addition, José Luis Morlanes, CEO of Alter Enersun, explained that “By participating in the lithium processing factory project, we aim to play our part in decarbonising the operations through the use of green hydrogen and renewable energies. “He added that “This plant will set a standard for sustainability in Europe and will contribute to the creation of wealth and high-quality job opportunities in the region of Extremadura”.
Antón Martínez, the CEO of Enagás Renovable, observed that “collaboration between businesses is crucial to effectively channel and optimise investment capability and create a hydrogen ecosystem linked to renewable energy sources. The creation of Extremadura Energy H2 Hub underlines Enagás Renovable’s commitment to the promotion of renewable gases, decarbonisation and the energy transition”.
Green hydrogen, an ally to decarbonise industry
Green hydrogen is a key sustainable solution for decarbonising the economy and supporting climate neutrality by 2050, in line with the European Green Deal.
Green hydrogen will play an important role in achieving carbon emission reduction goals, particularly in sectors where it is the most efficient solution in the decarbonisation process. This includes hydrogen-intensive industry and industries with high-temperature processes, long-distance heavy transport, maritime transport, rail transport and aviation. It also has great potential as an energy carrier for energy storage and sectoral integration.
The production of green hydrogen is mainly achieved through the electrolysis of water. In this process, hydrogen is separated from oxygen by using renewable electricity. The process is entirely powered by renewable energy, meaning no pollutants are emitted into the atmosphere. This makes it the cleanest and most sustainable hydrogen production process available.