Switzerland: Axpo and Rhiienergie Building Hydropower Plant to Produce Hydrogen
Axpo and Rhiienergie are building a hydrogen production facility at the Reichenau hydropower plant in Domat/Ems. The plant is scheduled to go into operation in the fall of 2023 and will produce about 350 tonnes of green hydrogen annually. With the project, Axpo and Rhiienergie are making an important contribution to decarbonisation in Switzerland.
Following the building permit process, Axpo and Rhiienergie began construction of the 2.5-MW hydrogen production facility at the Reichenau hydropower plant on 23 January 2023. The installation will be connected to the Reichenau hydropower plant in which Axpo holds a majority share. Using Swiss hydropower, the facility will produce about 350 tonnes of green hydrogen annually. This corresponds to about 1.5 million litres of diesel fuel that the Canton of Grisons and the neighbouring Rhine valley will be able to save in the future. The green hydrogen will be delivered directly to filling stations from the production facility. Alternatively, the hydrogen can also make a contribution to the decarbonisation of industrial operations. Commissioning is scheduled for the fall of 2023. Axpo and Rhiienergie are jointly investing over eight million Swiss francs in the facility located in the Canton of Grisons.
Green hydrogen as a pillar of the energy transition
Green hydrogen, which is produced with power from renewable energy sources, is considered a pillar of the energy transition. Axpo has defined the expansion of this area as a strategic growth field. The hydrogen plant at the Reichenau power plant is one of many facilities that Axpo is planning at run-of-river power plants in Switzerland.
Replacing fossil energy sources
The use of hydrogen as a fuel is currently not widespread in Switzerland. A filling station network is in the process of being developed and the first hydrogen-fuelled trucks are already on the road. The filling station network, as well as the Swiss hydrogen fleet, will grow strongly in the upcoming years.
Switzerland is striving to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. In order to reach this goal, the country must strongly reduce its CO2 emissions. As a climate-friendly fuel, green hydrogen plays a key role in this decarbonisation strategy – particularly in the area of freight transport.