The power-to-gas plant in Allendorf (Eder) was inaugurated in the presence of the Minister-President of Hesse, Volker Bouffier, and 200 other guests from business and politics. It is the world’s first industrial-scale plant to use a biological method for methanation.
“Viessmann is one of our internationally visible advertisements. Viessmann is a part of Hesse that is coming on strong,” said Minister-President Volker Bouffier. Apart from the new power-to-gas plant, the Minister-President also mentioned the planned research and development center, in which the company is investing € 50 million, as a mark of the company’s commitment to our State as a business location. “Thus Viessmann is assuming responsibility in a social and entrepreneurial sense, and making an important contribution to ensuring a supply of energy in the future that will be safe and environmentally friendly, as well as affordable and socially acceptable,” the Minister-President stated.
While other power-to-gas concepts achieve methanation using chemical catalysis, MicrobEnergy – a company of the Viessmann Group – has developed a biological process that has been in use in Allendorf for a year now.
Using surplus wind and solar power, hydrogen is generated from water with the aid of an electrolyzer. This is then converted microbiologically into methane gas together with carbon dioxide from the neighboring biogas plant.
This biological methanation is distinguished by its high degree of flexibility, and is thus ideal for absorbing fluctuating energy quantities. Using available biogas and sewer gas plants can substantially reduce the level of investment needed for power-to-gas, since transformers are often already in place, as well as connections to the gas and electric power grid.
Methane gas can be stored for long periods of time in the gas grid, whose pipelines and caverns have a storage capacity of several months. This will help facilitate the politically intended coupling of the electricity, heat, and mobility sectors, because the gas is an environmentally friendly fuel that can be used to generate electricity, provide heat, or power natural gas vehicles regardless of where or when it is produced. In this connection, Viessmann has now entered into a collaboration with Audi and is selling the biofuel to this automaker.
The Allendorf power-to-gas plant was set up as part of the “BioPower2Gas” research project sponsored by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and has got off to a successful start. It surpassed its set targets for gas quality by twenty percent in performance tests, and the TÜV Süd certification company confirmed that the gas meets the quality criteria for selling required by the “Renewable Energies Accounting” standard.
What is more, the plant has been certified in accordance with the REDcert-EU standard. Thus it meets the standard’s demands for sustainability and reduction of greenhouse gases, as well as traceability, throughout the entire manufacturing and distribution chain. This means that regenerative natural gas fulfills the fundamental requirements of EU Directive 2009/28/EC.
The dena has honored the project as the “biogas partnership of the year”, emphasizing its high degree of efficiency and the important contribution it is making on the way toward CO2-neutral mobility.