Iberdrola – a global energy company and Cummins – a US-based power company partner to build Europe’s fourth hydrogen electrolyzer gigafactory near Madrid in Spain. The electrolyzer plant will cost $61 million or €50 million and represents a 500MW-a-year facility, scalable to more than 1GW a year.
“This initiative will accelerate the production of green hydrogen in Spain and will create a new industry, the manufacturing of electrolyzer systems, with high growth potential,” said Iberdrola CEO Ignacio Galán.
The initiative aims to foster the green hydrogen economy, eventually putting Spain and Europe at the forefront of the technology. Green hydrogen is considered a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels and can replace them in almost every industry.
Hydrogen can be produced via electrolysis which is the process of using electricity to split water into H and O2. Electrolyzers are the machines that use electrical currents to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. When using renewable energy, the process generated zero emissions.
The project is also part of the European Commission strategy for a carbon neutral EU that wants to see 40GW of green hydrogen electrolysis projects installed by 2030. Hydrogen is a projected growing market, as the share of hydrogen in Europe’s energy mix should rise from 2% now to 13-14% by 2050.
Other electrolysers facilities in Europe are: UK’s ITM Power, Norway’s Nel and France’s McPhy. The Haldor Topsoe project in Denmark is also for a 500MW plant producing high-efficiency high-temperature solid-oxide electrolysers.
Hydrogen Electrolyzer Production Project Purpose
Cummins and Iberdrola have also agreed to construct a 230MW green hydrogen project in Palos de la Frontera, Andalusia. Iberdrola is developing the facility to supply hydrogen for fertilizer producer Fertiberia. In 2020, Iberdrola and Fertiberia agreed to develop up to 800 MW of electrolyzers at Fertiberia’s plants by 2027.
The new gigafactory will supply the electrolyzer for the Palos project. The project itself will serve as a reference for other large electrolysis initiatives with Iberdrola, including a collaboration on a hydrogen refuelling station in Barcelona.
The new electrolyzer production facility in Spain will connect major energy companies in the race to decarbonize the economy and achieve Europe’s net zero targets. The hydrogen electrolyzer manufacturers in the EU are driving the expansion of the hydrogen market that will transform the energy industry we see today and will bring new clean technologies to the world.