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World's Largest-class Hydrogen Production Facility Completed in Fukushima

Accompanied by 20MW solar plant

2020/03/14 18:51
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Labo
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The opening ceremony for "Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field (FH2R)," which includes a 20MW solar power plant, took place in Namie-machi (town), Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, March 7, 2020.

NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization), Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corp, Tohoku Electric Power Co Inc and Iwatani Corp had been developing the facility since 2018. It was completed at the end of February 2020 and started operation.

At first, it will supply hydrogen to fuel-cell vehicles (FCVs), fuel-cell buses and stationary fuel-cell systems that will be operated for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The top executives of the four companies (power producers), three members of the cabinet (Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Minister Kajiyama of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and Minister Tanaka of the Reconstruction Agency), Fukushima Governor Uchibori and Namie-machi Mayor Yoshida attended the meeting and participated in ribbon-cutting.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attended the opening ceremony and made a congratulatory address. (source: Nikkei BP)

"At the Davos Conference (World Economic Forum Annual Meeting) that took place in Switzerland in January last year, Japan announced its goal of reducing the cost of producing hydrogen by more than 90%," Abe said. "The research facility completed in Namie-machi this time will be the world's largest innovation base related to hydrogen and contribute to achieving such goals."

The site area of the FH2R is 180,000m2. The FH2R consists of (1) the 20MW mega (large-scale) solar power plant, (2) hydrogen production unit with a maximum power consumption of 10MW, (3) hydrogen storage/supply facilities and (4) administration building.

The hydrogen production unit is an alkaline water electrolysis type manufactured by Asahi Kasei Corp. When operating with a rated output of 6MW, it can produce 1,200Nm3 of hydrogen per hour (normal cubic meter: the amount of 1m3 gas at a temperature of 0°C and a pressure of 1 atm), which is equivalent to the amount of hydrogen that can fill 560 FCVs.