RWE seeks planning approval for Germany’s first hydrogen storage facility for commercial purposes

RWE Gas Storage West has submitted planning approval documents for what is expected to be Germany’s first hydrogen cavern storage facility to be used for commercial purposes.

Illustration only. Courtesy of RWE

RWE announced the start of the approval procedure, which includes environmental impact assessment, back in April 2022 and presented the project to local residents, policy-makers and the general public.

Earlier this week, the company submitted the planning approval documentation to Arnsberg District Government for the construction of the hydrogen storage facility in Epe, Gronau by way of an amendment to the existing general operating plan.

The company added that an information day related to the submission of the planning approval documents will take place on 28 March when the detailed plans of the project will be outlined to all interested parties at Hotel Schepers in Epe.

As explained, German’s first hydrogen cavern storage facility to be used for commercial purposes will mostly be built on RWE’s existing site at Kottiger Hook by the end of 2026. In October last year, RWE announced that, in contrast to the original plan, it would add another cavern to the planned facilities, bringing the total to two caverns. The second cavern is located within the defined assessment area for the environmental impact assessment.

Together with partners from the GET H2 initiative, the German company has applied for funding for the construction of the storage facility within the framework of IPCEI (Important Projects of Common European Interest) Hydrogen. Funding has not yet been approved, which means that its final investment decision is still pending.

RWE noted that the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia have selected projects—including the hydrogen storage facility—that will receive national funding if a favourable decision is made at the European level.

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Click here to read more about RWE’s hydrogen projects.