To get eFarm underway, German transportation minister Andreas Scheuer and many of the project’s partners came to Bosbüll on July 7 despite dreary weather. “Germany’s largest hydrogen transportation project,” as GP Joule calls it, involves building two fueling stations, two fuel cell buses, seven tanks to deliver gas by truck, and five 225-kilowatt electrolyzers, each of which will be put up at a different site.
It was a gray and stormy day, typical of northern Germany. But that did little to dampen the mood among attendees as the prominent guests in their midst cut the ribbon on the eFarm project (see fig. 1). Surrounded by wind turbines, German transportation minister Andreas Scheuer said that “this project is the perfect example of how to implement Germany’s hydrogen strategy, from using wind energy for clean energy generation to broadly expanding the needed infrastructure. This is how we will get clean, eco-friendly transportation. […] Some say we will do this with a bang; I say it is going to be a German turbo.”
EUR 16 million will be poured into the project, covering half of its costs. Hopes are that the venture will become a beacon for all of Germany and show how excess wind energy can be used in zero-emission transportation while creating trust among those unsure of whether wind turbines and hydrogen power plants are a good idea.
Farmer turned hydrogen producer
The developer’s name is John-Heinrich “Jonny” Ingwersen, the chief executive of eFarming. Until 2018, his firm was known as GPJ Energiepark 103, set up in 2017 (see H2-international, January 2019). Ingwersen, a farmer by trade, was and still is the manager of several community wind and solar farms in Bosbüll. Throughout the region, he is seen as a pioneer, considering his first ventures into the renewable energy sector date to 1993. He told H2-international that the current project “is something we are pretty proud of.”
Among GP Joule’s partners are several wind farm operators. They hope that the project will allow them to keep on the turbines that will soon drop out of Germany‘s clean energy incentive program. There has been enormous interest in the new technology, with over a hundred people having stated their intention to buy an FCEV.
The production capacity of the H-Tec ME 100/350 PEM electrolyzer that will be run in Bosbüll is 100 kilograms of hydrogen a day. The waste energy generated by the system will be used to heat nearby buildings, which will raise efficiency to more than 95 percent. The hydrogen produced this way will be transported to two fueling stations, one in Niebüll and another in Husum. Their completion, originally scheduled for the second quarter, has been postponed. The two fuel cell buses will also be delivered later than expected, presumably in September.