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Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig opens Europe’s first green industrial park

March 24th 2021, 08:00 am
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Kirsten Brückner
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Rostock – Laage, March 24th, 2021 – With the start of test operation of Germany`s first hydrogen-based supply power plant by Ms. Schwesig, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is once again underlining its lighthouse role in the implementation of the national hydrogen strategy. The automotive supplier RHODIUS will be the first tenant to supply its new production site with 100% CO2-neutral energy.

Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig starts the test operation directly on the display of Germany’s first hydrogen-based supply power plant.
From left to right Peter Rößner APEX-CFO, Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig, Mathias Hehmann APEX-CEO, Dr. Knut Kille RHODIUS CEO

With the laying of the foundation stone for a 4,000 m2 production hall, the hydrogen age finally begins in Rostock-Laage. APEX Energy’s concept of developing a green industrial park in which resident companies are supplied with heat and electricity using locally generated hydrogen has met with great interest. RHODIUS GmbH was the first industrial customer to sign a 20-year contract, which includes full supply with green energy from January 2022. The hydrogen system supplier APEX Energy already started building a local infrastructure in 2017. Today, with the 2 MW hydrogen power plant, the first expansion stage is successfully going into test operation. In addition to providing emission-free heat and electricity for the APEX Group headquarters, buses, trucks and cars are also refueled.

Intelligent Control System

An expansion of the supply capacity to 105 MW with the partner Siemens Energy is at an advanced stage. At the same time, APEX Energy is investing in AI-supported control systems that enable the quantities provided to be optimized against the background of current electricity prices.

“With the establishment of intelligent hydrogen ecosystems – from generation to use – the foundation stone for the restructuring of the energy infrastructure is being laid. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania uses its location advantage from the surplus of the wind and solar energy produced to put itself at the top of the value chain, ”emphasizes Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig.

From vision to reality

True to the company philosophy of “acting instead of watching”, APEX Energy began planning its own hydrogen plant at the Rostock-Laage location 5 years ago. After an 18-month delivery time and an investment in the double-digit million range, the components were ready for connection on the company premises. With the approval granted in accordance with the BImSchG (Federal Immission Control Act) on January 25, 2021, the system was completed and put into test operation today. The approval according to § 4 BImSchG allows the construction and operation of a hydrogen power plant with an electrolysis capacity of 2 MW, the storage of hydrogen in a certified hydrogen storage system, the generation of electricity via a fuel cell with 100 kW electrical power or a 115 kW H2 Cogeneration unit. A battery storage system with a capacity of 1 MWh is integrated into the system. The operation of a hydrogen filling station with a throughput of 200 kg per day was also approved.

This system, unique in Germany, with an annual capacity of 16 gigawatt hours, is Europe’s first hydrogen-based supply network.

Mathias Hehmann, Managing Director of APEX Energy Teterow GmbH, rates the system as an important milestone for an emission-free, future-oriented energy supply: “As a certified full-service specialist, we deliver tailor-made system solutions for the energy of tomorrow. For industry and commerce, housing associations, for intermediate storage of control energy, for mobility solutions or for connecting off-grid locations – hydrogen is the driver for a CO2-neutral future. ”

“Today we are taking the next step towards a clean industry in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Our hydrogen age begins with the commissioning of the hydrogen power plant here at APEX in Rostock-Laage. The first CO2-neutral industrial park in Europe is to be built here. We can all be proud of that, ”emphasized Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig today at the commissioning of the APEX hydrogen power plant.

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