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TOPIC : MW or multi-MW demonstration of stationary fuel cells

Topic identifier: FCH-02-11-2016
Publication date: 19 January 2016

Types of action: FCH2-IA Innovation action
Opening date:
19 January 2016
Deadline: 03 May 2016 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-JTI-FCH-2016
Work Programme Part: FCH2 Work Plan 2016
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

The global development of large stationary FC goes towards multi-MW installations: examples are a 15 MW FC park in US or 60 MW FC park in South Korea as well as the announced 360 MW FC park there. Europe has a total of only 2 MW of such fuel cells installed.

Such large installations demonstrate the capability of the technology, raise needed volume for cost reduction and provide best of class total cost of ownership (TCO).

To jump-start this first commercialisation phase, the industry needs dedicated demonstrations with selected promising suppliers/technologies16 in order to clear the way for a volume increase in the market, which is concomitant to the required decrease in capital costs. This should open pathways to allow full commercial deployment with shrinking public funding, taking into account the full added values of what large FCs can offer to the European energy system.


This demonstration activity will focus on MW or multi-MW demonstration in order to:

  • Demonstrate the feasibility (technical and commercial) for MW or multi MW stationary FC’s in a commercial/industrial application, also relative to the use of heat, for which the needed heat recovery equipment is included
  • Demonstrate the feasibility (technical and commercial) for MW or multi-MW stationary FC in large commercial or industrial applications, also relative to process integration of heat or heat/cold.
  • Establish confidence for further market deployment actions in other sectors, e.g. next demonstration of MW or multi-MW solutions for grid support
  • Prepare the ground for successful implementation of European stationary MW-class fuel cell industry (technology and manufacturing settlement) and to achieve further reductions in product cost and development of the value chain
  • Demonstrate the technical performance as required in a grid with large share of variable renewables.

Core features of the FC such as efficiency, cost, durability and lifetime must comply with relevant MAWP targets and the global competition; these values have been compiled on the expected impact chapter. This demonstration must not only raise public awareness; it should be used to establish confidence in technology, business models and market readiness with key customers in the food, pharma, chemical industry or other sectors. The project should be advanced with market enablers (such as utilities, leading project developers in construction and energy business) to achieve volume contracts and with financiers to assure access to project financing.

The selected project will target primarily demonstration of MW-class FC solutions in the commercial/industrial market segments integrating both of the following:

  • 1 MW up to several MW capacity production of power and heat from methane (natural gas or natural gas quality gas) or hydrogen
  • Integration of a FC power plant in commercial/industrial processes

The project should aim at creating partnerships between end users, industry, local SMEs, financiers and local authorities, in order to ensure that the solutions are replicable and can be supported or financed by various public or private organizations.

Therefore the project should:

  • Validate real demonstration units in commercial/industrial applications with adequate visibility so that suppliers, stakeholders and end users may benefit from the experience gained throughout the value chain
  • Develop and reinforce business plan and service strategy for the specific demonstrated application during the project so that it will be replicable and validated in the chosen market segment after the project

Any event (accidents, incidents, near misses) that may occur during the project execution shall be reported into the European reference database HIAD (Hydrogen Incident and Accident Database) at

TRL start: 7

TRL end: 8

Preference will be given to proposals that demonstrate higher power levels.

The FCH 2 JU considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of EUR 6 million would allow the specific challenges to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts

Expected duration: 5 years

A maximum of 1 project may be funded under this topic.

Expected Impact:

The project should focus on the following impacts:

  • Reduce the overall energy costs
  • Building and validating references to build trust among the stakeholders
  • Reduction of the use of primary energy by
    • Electrical efficiency > 45%
    • Total efficiency > 70% (as an example heat cycle: 45°C/30°C, LHV)

and possibly address in addition to that also:

  • Supplier and user experience of installation/commissioning, operation and use of distributed power generation
  • Enable active participation of consumers in order to bring the fuel cells technology closer to their daily business
  • Reduction of the CO2 emissions with respect to the average national grid by > 10%
  • Reduction of the CAPEX (no transport, installation, project management, no heat use equipment) towards < 4,000 €/kW for systems ≥1 MW 3,000-3,500 €/kW for systems ≥ 2 MW
  • Reduction of the maintenance costs (full service including stack replacement) towards to < 0.05 €/kWh for systems < 2 MW and towards < 0.035 €/kWh for larger systems
  • Increase the fuel cell system lifetime towards 20 years of operation (stack replacement included, as referred on the cost reduction goals)
  • Demonstrate a technically and financially viable solution, including the identification of hydrogen sources (if applicable), and a replicable business case

It is envisaged that the project will also bring societal benefits such as:

  • Economic growth and new jobs at the local level, including supply-chain jobs
  • Great basis for further growth of the industry providing MW-class FCs
  • Energy security and improved reliability
Topic conditions and documents

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.

  1. List of countries and applicable rules for funding: described in part A of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.
    Note also that a number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects (follow the links to China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan).

  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme. The following exceptions apply (see 'chapter 3.3. Call management rules' from the AWP2016 and specific topic description):  'For some, well-identified topics it is therefore duly justified to require as an additional condition for participation that at least one constituent entity of the Industry Grouping or Research Grouping is among the participants in the consortium.'

    Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the FCH2 JU proposal template.
  3. Evaluation

    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme. As part of the Panel Review, hearings will be organised for Innovation Actions (IA) proposals. 

    3.2 Submission and evaluation process: Guide to the submission and evaluation process

  4. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:

    Information on the outcome of evaluation: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.
  5. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

    FCH2 JU Innovation Action (FCH2-IA):

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Proposal templates are available after entering the submission tool below.
    Standard evaluation form
    FCH2 JU Model Grant Agreement
    Annotated Grant Agreement

  6. Additional provisions:

    Horizon 2020 budget flexibility
    Classified information
    Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply.
    Financial support to Third Parties – where a topic description foresees financial support to Third Parties, these provisions apply.

  7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions, and proposals must refer to measures envisaged. Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

  8. Additional documents:

    FCH2 JU 2016 Work Plan
    FCH2 JU Multi Annual Work Plan
    FCH2 JU – Regulation of establishment
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: General Annexes
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 - Regulation of Establishment
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
Additional documents

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