Architectural visualization Matzerath

By: Editorial Team Reading time: 2 Minutes


Practical test of hydrogen

Brainergy Park Jülich will demonstrate how green hydrogen economy works in everyday life. As a project partner, Messer is contributing the required gases expertise. Düren District Commissioner Wolfgang Spelthahn explains what is planned and how things stand.

Why did you decide to strongly support this project? In the Düren District, three active open pit coal mines are mining lignite. But the end is in sight, and the structural transformation is inevitable. So, we want to transition to a new form of energy and replace the disappearing jobs. Brainergy Park is one of our key projects in this regard.

We are very grateful to Messer for the important contribution to gases logistics, the handling of the hydrogen, and the provision of the filling stations.

District Commissioner Wolfgang Spelthahn is betting on hydrogen and strongly supports Brainergy Park.

What is going on there? The goal is to raise awareness of the usefulness of hydrogen in the widest possible range of applications. We decided to convert our fleet of buses to hydrogen drive very rapidly. We plan to do the same with the trains of the local rail service; in that case, it takes somewhat longer to deliver the railcars. The first buses were delivered in early March and will go into service as soon as possible. I am confident that by 2024 they will start filling their tanks with green hydrogen made in Jülich.

How will the gas be produced? An electrolysis unit that will be powered by wind and solar energy is currently under construction in Brainergy Park. A large solar park is also being built at the same time, and neighboring wind turbines could be integrated into the concept. We are glad that we found excellent industrial partners for the project. Who are they? Siemens is building the electrolysis unit; the regional energy company RWE – also previously active in the lignite coal business and likewise affected by the structural transformation – is taking charge of the power supply. We are very grateful to Messer for the important contribution to gases logistics, the handling of the hydrogen, and the provision of the filling stations.

How does such a large, complex project get moving? At the federal level, there is a support fund for structural transformation in the lignite coal industry. Our request for funding is supported by the federal government and by the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Together with the participating firms, we – the Düren District – formed a company that serves as a sponsor and coordinates things. The planning measures are already well along, we are making very good progress. Everyone is pulling together, and we are already starting to see the effects now.

What effects? Some industrial companies in the region already plan to convert to hydrogen. We want to start supplying energy to a large school by means of hydrogen soon. People will soon be riding hydrogen-powered buses and experiencing the new technology in everyday life. An optimistic mood and a growing awareness of the topic have taken hold. Moreover, I think it is tremendously important that we raise awareness of the huge potential of German industry in this field.

Brainergy Park Jülich

The intercommunal industrial zone Brainergy Park Jülich in Düren District is a model project focused on the fields of new energies and the energy transition. Along with the production and utilization of green hydrogen, it will also include a simulation area and demonstration platform for the energy management of the future. An innovative, state-of-the-art energy supply system will provide the site with heating and cooling.