ACCIONA and Nordex have created a joint venture to develop competitively priced green hydrogen projects in areas with abundant wind resources, not connected to conventional power grids.
The new company has already secured eight such sites located in the United States, Latin America and Africa and is evaluating new opportunities elsewhere in the world. The company will not operate in Spain and Portugal, where ACCIONA Energía has an alliance with Plug Power.
With a target renewable energy development pipeline of 50GW, the joint venture aims to develop projects that will produce 0.5 million tons of green hydrogen annually within the next ten years. The aim is to reach ready-to-build stage for the first projects by 2027.
Each project, at a minimum size of 1GW of installed renewable power, will be deployed through strategic agreements with other public and private companies and institutions interested in producing or mass-consuming green hydrogen.
In this new joint venture, the ACCIONA group will have a 50% stake –equally divided between ACCIONA and ACCIONA Energía– and Nordex the remaining 50%. The transaction has been structured through the purchase of half of Nordex’s subsidiary for developing green hydrogen projects by both ACCIONA companies for a deferred amount of €68 million, to be paid over the next four years.
The partners contribute via a unique combination of experience and knowledge required throughout the value chain for the development of the project, such as the provision of renewable technology solutions in all types of environments, the efficient management of large energy and industrial facilities, water treatment or the construction of large infrastructure projects.
ACCIONA also has extensive global experience in the execution of ports and the operation of large concessions. Both partners have in-depth knowledge of the logistical requirements for successfully developing a project of this nature.
Nordex has been working for the last year at its plant in Barasoain (Navarra) on developing a new prototype of a pressurised alkaline electrolyser adapted to the variable operation of renewable sources. This initiative has been recognised as an Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI).
The development of the electrolyser is currently in an advanced R&D&I phase to increase the operational flexibility of alkaline technologies. At a later stage, Nordex will develop the modular prototype at its facilities in Navarra.
Worldwide demand for green hydrogen will grow exponentially by around 700% over the next 30 years, driven by the decarbonisation of the economy, according to several studies. As a result, green hydrogen could contribute to 20% of total emission reduction needs by 2050. More than 25 countries have already established green hydrogen plans.
Last May, the European Commission published its REPowerEU plan, which charts the European Union’s (EU) path towards a fast reduction of energy dependence on fossil fuels by 2027. The plan aims to produce ten million tons of renewable hydrogen in the EU and the same amount from imports by 2030. Through its alliances with Plug Power and Nordex, ACCIONA and ACCIONA Energía will become benchmark operators in both markets.
“Green hydrogen will be key to ending greenhouse gas emissions in sectors that are very difficult to decarbonize, such as industry, agriculture, or air and maritime transport,” said José Manuel Entrecanales, chairman and CEO of ACCIONA. “This joint venture complements our alliance with Plug Power for Spain and Portugal, which is more focused on proximity solutions for our customers.”
“Thanks to our experience in wind project development, Nordex has been able to build an attractive portfolio of green hydrogen projects in interesting geographic regions, as well as a close network of excellent local developers and experienced partners,” explains José Luis Blanco, CEO of the Nordex Group. “We are very pleased to now accelerate these achievements together with ACCIONA, which has extensive experience in large infrastructure projects.”
Green hydrogen is obtained through electrolysis, which uses non-polluting renewable energies to break down water into its components, hydrogen and oxygen. Once obtained, the green hydrogen can be transported through gas pipelines or synthesised into green ammonia or sustainable fuel.
Image source: Courtesy of ACCIONA
Read more Hydrogen news here