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TOPIC : Highly flexible electrolysers balancing the energy output inside the fence of a wind park

Topic identifier: FCH-02-4-2017
Publication date: 17 January 2017

Types of action: FCH2-IA Innovation action
Opening date:
17 January 2017
Deadline: 20 April 2017 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-JTI-FCH-2017
Work Programme Part: FCH2 Work Plan 2017
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Over the past years, electrolysers have demonstrated their high flexibility and potential to deliver grid balancing services as a flexible load. Due to its variable character and increasing penetration, the integration of wind energy is becoming more challenging in Europe especially in weak power grids.

Locating an electrolyser inside the fence of a wind park presents potentially many advantages such as the smoothing of the power output (feed-in) of the wind park, the optimization of power management between the two technologies, the avoidance of (transmission and distribution) grid costs on the power used by the electrolyser, a clear renewable character of the hydrogen produced from wind power, the possibility to develop new operating strategies in order to maximize the energy production from wind turbines (curtailment avoidance) and to experiment new types of combined grid services.

The specific challenge of the topic is to achieve a full and efficient integration between the wind power generation systems and the capacity of hydrogen generation through electrolysers in a new and highly integrated layout.


This topic aims at demonstrating an electrolyser in combination with an existing wind turbine or wind park. The electrolyser should be located inside the fence of a wind park and deliver balancing services through improved grid stabilising features of the wind turbine – electrolyser integration upstream of the wind park transformer.

Within the project, the smart energy management system and the necessary controls will be developed to operate the wind park and the electrolyser in the most optimal way, exploiting technical and economical synergies. The project should include the development of an advanced control system with power set points to combine the volatility of the wind park and the flexibility of the electrolyser. This control system should also consider economical parameters such as the provision of grid balancing services, the hydrogen demand profile for the selected application and the optimization of the economics of the whole plant (wind power sale and hydrogen sale).

The project should further demonstrate:

  • A state of the art, fast response electrolyser of at least 2MW with a CAPEX @ rated power below 3 M€/tpd;
  • A successful operation for a cumulated duration of at least 2 years and the cumulated production of at least 100 tons of hydrogen;
  • Its ability to meet at least one of the following targets:
    • smoothen the power output of the wind turbine (or wind farm) significantly with the aim that:
      • a) the energy can better be integrated in the trading of electricity; or
      • b) the power system operator allows to increase the overall penetration with volatile sources, such as wind.
    • capture revenues in combination with the wind park for the provision of grid services, such as primary, secondary and tertiary response markets, or other electrical services that a power system operator is willing to pay for.
  • the technical and economic benefit of having an integrated concept.

A significant part of the hydrogen produced during the project should be valorised, sold for example to a customer (industrial or mobility), injected in a natural gas or hydrogen grid or re-electrified. The downstream costs associated with the hydrogen use (outside the fence) are not considered eligible for funding under this topic by the FCH JU.

Furthermore, the project shall provide:

  • a detailed analysis of the business case for the direct connection of electrolysers with wind farms as well as a market outlook for such an integrated concept;
  • a technical and economic analysis covering the further integration of electrolyser technologies with wind turbines (or wind parks) in several key configurations (e.a.: dedicated wind turbine for hydrogen production, off-shore hydrogen production from wind energy);
  • an analysis of the environmental performance of the integrated system;
  • an impact analysis on the European energy system and the potential impact of this concept on regulations, codes and standards.

The technology should be moved from TRL 4 to TRL 6 with respect to the balance of plant and the system integration with the wind park. The consortium should include at least a wind farm operator, an electrolyser manufacturer and a grid operator.

International collaboration in this field is highly encouraged, especially with IPHE members.

Any safety-related event that may occur during execution of the project shall be reported to the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC), which manages the European hydrogen safety reference database, HIAD (dedicated mailbox

The maximum FCH 2 JU contribution that may be requested is EUR 5 million per project. This is an eligibility criterion – proposals requesting FCH 2 JU contributions above this amount will not be evaluated.

A maximum of 1 project may be funded under this topic

Expected duration: 4 years

Expected Impact:
  • Demonstrate to reach the MAWP 2020 KPI’s targets, in particular:
    • energy consumption at rated power below 52 kWh/kg;
    • hot start from min to max power in less than 2 sec;
    • a cold start in less than 30 sec;
    • an efficiency degradation @ rated power below 1.5% per year (8000 operating hours).
  • Perform an engineering study to show path towards MAWP 2023 targets;
  • Development of new control systems at wind park level integrating an electrolyser inside the fence, exploiting technical and economical synergies between the two technologies;
  • Demonstration of:
    • the economic and technical synergies between electrolysers and wind power parks and the overall benefits for the technology developers, the project owners and the grid operators;
    • the integration of both technologies could generate more benefits than the sum of the two technologies at two different sites.
  • Assessment of which additional grid balancing services could be captured by the combined system and the potential extra revenues, respectively how markets and products for grid services should be developed, in order to facilitate the combined use of wind turbines and electrolysers.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

International cooperation

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. See the information in the Online Manual.

  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 FCH2 JU 2017 Work Plan 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”;
    - “For all Innovation Activities, an additional eligibility criterion has been introduced to limit the FCH 2 JU requested contribution”.

    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.

    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:

Innovation Action:

         6. Additional provisions:

Horizon 2020 budget flexibility
Classified information
Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions 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. See Part L of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.


        8. Additional documents:

FCH2 JU 2017 Work Plan
FCH2 JU Multi Annual Work Plan 
FCH2 JU – Regulation of establishment
Horizon 2020 Regulation of Establishment
Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
Horizon 2020 Specific Programme


Additional documents

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