🇸🇪 HYBRIT hydrogen storage reduces costs by 40 %

LULEÅ HYBRITs hydrogen storage in Luleå has been tested commercially on the electricity market. The test shows that the variable cost of hydrogen production can be reduced by between 25 and 40 percent.

By Lennart Håkansson, North Sweden Business - October 25, 2023
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Article by North Sweden Business

Hydrogen Storage
The hydrogen storage facility in Luleå where the experiments are conducted. Photo: Hybrit

The hydrogen storage was used for one month directly on the electricity market. Hydrogen was produced from fossil-free electricity with a variable electricity price at the lowest possible cost. During certain parts of the day or during longer periods with good access to weather-dependent electricity production. The hydrogen was delivered from the storage in a steady flow to SSAB’s steelworks in Luleå.

“The tests were conducted in close cooperation between Hybrit Development and Vattenfall. It was possible to follow in real time how much money was saved by using the storage facility,” says Marie Anheden, senior project manager at HYBRIT.

Hydrogen use is one of the keys to the industry’s transition. Hydrogen storage makes it possible to adapt electricity use when electricity supply and prices vary. Industry can be supplied with hydrogen in a stable and cost-effective way. In addition, large-scale hydrogen storage can dampen electricity price variations in the market, which favors investments in new electricity production from fossil-free power sources.

“LKAB will convert the entire production of iron ore products to fossil-free sponge iron produced with hydrogen, so these are very important results for us. We will need to produce more than one million tons of hydrogen and consume more than 70 TWh of fossil-free electricity per year when we have converted our entire operation in 2050. Pressing costs is therefore absolutely necessary,” says Stefan Savonen, energy and climate manager at the mining company LKAB.

The HYBRIT collaboration between LKAB, SSAB and state energy company Vattenfall has been running since 2016. The hydrogen storage facility in Luleå was commissioned in 2022 in a pilot plant that holds 100 cubic meters of hydrogen pressurized up to 250 bar. The trials will last until 2024.

At full scale, meaning 100,000 – 120,000 cubic meters that can store 100 GWh of electricity converted to hydrogen, a hydrogen storage facility would be sufficient for a large steel plant’s production for up to four days.