Feb 5, 2013
Electrochaea is pleased to announce a new strategic partnership with Erdgas Zürich and ewz for the development of its breakthrough power-to-gas technology. The Zurich-based utilities will contribute financial support and market intelligence toward Electrochaea’s current technology demonstration projects.
As part of the agreement, Erdgas Zürich and ewz will join existing partners E.ON, NEAS, and Aarhus University on the steering committee of the Foulum Project, a 250-kW power-to-gas demonstration project located at Aarhus University’s Biogas Research Center in Foulum, Denmark. The Foulum Project is partially sponsored by the Danish Energy Agency’s EUDP technology demonstration project. Marcel Frei, Managing Director of ewz, is excited about the new collaboration: “Having invested heavily in renewable energy, we understand the technical difficulties posed by the transition to a low-carbon economy, especially with regards to the energy storage challenge. We look forward to working with Electrochaea and growing our understanding of the potential of power-to-gas in future energy systems.” Kurt Lüscher, CEO of Erdgas Zürich, adds: “The potential of power-to-gas goes beyond energy storage. This technology would allow us to produce large quantities of renewable gas and to inject it into the existing natural gas grid. From there, it can be extracted not only for electricity generation but also for heating and cooking and for the propulsion of gas-fueled vehicles.”
For Electrochaea, the partnership with Erdgas Zürich and ewz marks an important milestone. Dominic Hofstetter, VP of Business Development at Electrochaea, remarks: “We are very excited to have such experienced partners support us in our technology development efforts. Their financial and in-kind contributions to the Foulum Project will allow us to execute the project swiftly and in strong alignment with the market’s needs.” Mich Hein, CEO at Electrochaea, adds: “Power-to-gas is a bridge between the electricity and gas systems. With Erdgas Zürich and ewz, we have highly competent partners on either side.”
Start-up of operations at Foulum is planned for Q2 2013. Electrochaea, Erdgas Zürich and ewz will also partner in the development of a study to assess the potential for power-to-gas in Switzerland.
Power-to-gas is an innovative and disruptive concept for grid-scale energy storage. The large and growing penetration of wind and solar energy, which produce electricity intermittently and independent of demand, causes large supply/demand imbalances in the electricity grid. Power-to-gas converts such surplus electricity into methane, the principal component of natural gas, for direct injection into the existing gas infrastructure. Because the capacity of many natural gas networks is practically unlimited for the purpose of energy storage, the energy storage capacity of power-to-gas far surpasses that of batteries, pumped hydro, and compressed air energy storage. Once in the pipelines, the gas can be used for power production during peak-hours, as renewable gas in industry and transportation, and for long-distance energy transmission via existing pipelines.
About Erdgas Zürich
Based in Zurich, Erdgas Zürich is an innovative energy services company and the largest biogas distributor in Switzerland. With a broad portfolio of economically and ecologically sound energy solutions, Erdgas Zürich is a leader in renewable energy. About ewz ewz ranks among the ten largest utilities in Switzerland and has been providing electricity to the City of Zurich since 1892. ewz is a strong supporter of renewable energy and owns generation assets in hydro power, wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and waste incineration.