Bilfinger, the engineering and services group, is responsible for automation technology at the Falkenhagen power-to-gas pilot plant, which E.ON will use to feed hydrogen into the natural gas grid for the first time. The automation solution installed by subsidiary Bilfinger GreyLogix ensures that the plant is operational around the clock and monitors the volume of hydrogen being fed into the grid.
The pilot plant was put into operation by Germany's Minister of Economics and Technology, Philipp Rösler, at a ceremony in Falkenhagen, Brandenburg on August 28, 2013. It converts up to two megawatts of electrical output to hydrogen per hour and subsequently feed it into the natural gas grid. With this project, E.ON hopes to gain further expertise in the storage of regenerative gas in the natural gas infrastructure. With such expertise, it is possible to store over-capacity from fluctuating renewable energy sources and to access it when needed.
"In the course of the transformation of energy supplies, power-to-gas technology is becoming increasingly important", says Thomas Töpfer, Member of the Executive Board at Bilfinger SE. "As an engineering and services group, we provide innovative solutions that help answer questions about energy supplies of the future."
In order to tap into new technologies and markets, research and development efforts have been intensified. As lead investor, Bilfinger supports the young start-up company Sunfire from Dresden. Sunfire develops concepts for using renewable energy to convert carbon dioxide and water into fuel (power-to-liquids) or gas (power-to-gas).