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Ballard supports stable renewable energy supply with Hydrogen Valleys project in Greece

3 minute read
Jan. 3, 2024
Article by Betina Holtze

Green renewable alternative energy concept wind generator turbines generating electricity on Crete, Greece

The Hydrogen Valleys program is an initiative established by the Clean Hydrogen Partnership to promote and deliver efficient, sustainable hydrogen hubs and the subsequent scaling up of the hydrogen economy across Europe to provide a reliable platform for zero-emission energy. Crete-Aegean Hydrogen Valley (CRAVE H2), is currently in progress, aiming to address the challenges associated with grid stability caused by intermittent renewable energy sources and the increasing demand for electricity.

Success for the ambitious project relies on effective collaboration between government, local authorities and industry players. As a partner, Ballard is focused on bringing its proven commercial experience to Hydrogen Valleys projects to create viable, long-term solutions that can help realize the full economic, social, and decarbonized potential of European regions and their communities.

Receiving nearly €8m ($8.69m) in funding from the European Commission and the Clean Hydrogen Partnership, the plan for CRAVE H2 proposes the creation of a new hydrogen hub on the Greek island of Crete to encourage the increased use of renewable electricity to produce green hydrogen via electrolysis and re-use energy stored through fuel cells. This development will showcase how hydrogen can provide a vital energy source on the island to reduce fossil resource use, which is both polluting and externally imported, and enhance Crete’s electric grid stabilization.

Crave H2 project timeline

In its role as a project partner, Ballard will design, manufacture, and install a 400kW state-of-the-art hydrogen fuel cell container solution, which will ensure a constant and reliable supply of electricity for Crete.

During the project's duration, additional technologies will be deployed – from production and subsequent high-pressure storage to hydrogen refueling stations – to cover the entire hydrogen value chain. This will see dedicated renewable electricity production created by a 580MW domestic windfarm on Crete, which will produce 500 tons of green hydrogen every year to power the local existing services, as well as potential off-takers that include future projects involving fuel cell electric buses and zero-emission marine vessels.

The deployment of Ballard's fuel cell container solution will enable Crete to maximize utilization of its renewable energy sources while maintaining a stable and resilient electrical grid. The system's flexibility and rapid response capabilities make it an ideal choice for grid stabilization, mitigating the impacts of renewable energy intermittency and contributing to Crete's transition towards a carbon neutral future.

Andrew Win Project Development & Funding Manager, Ballard

Andrew Win, Ballard

Ballard is currently the fuel cell partner for two key Hydrogen Valleys projects in Europe and is actively engaged in further upcoming projects – bringing its technical, industry and hydrogen ecosystem expertise to critical sectors such as road transport, rail, marine and port operations, construction, and stationary power generation applications.