Wind Energy, Hydrogen, Forklifts and Smart Grid
at a Large Logistic Centre of Colruyt Group (in Halle, near Brussels)
About Don Quichote
Hydrogen production via renewable electricity utilisation is seen as a valuable business opportunity to efficiently use intermittent clean energy sources.
By storing excess renewable electricity in large quantities in hydrogen, renewable energy can be effectively utilised for road transportation, grid balancing and other areas of application. In this way, the role of hydrogen as a storage medium could greatly enhance the deployment of renewable energy sources and contribute to the EU’s decarbonisation objectives.
The Don Quichote project (Demonstration Of New QUalitative Innovative Concept of Hydrogen Out of wind Turbin Electricity), that ran from 2012 till 2018, demonstrated that the use of hydrogen as a large scale renewable energy storage solution is not “tilting windmills” anymore, but has technical and economic viability. It represents an interesting commercial opportunity to connect intermittent renewable electricity to transport applications.
"We are preparing fora future where hydrogen fueling becomes very normal" Jef Colruyt, CEO Colruyt Group
The Don Quichote demonstration plant was implemented at a large logistic centre of Colruyt Group in Halle, near Brussels (BE). The plant at this centre is interconnected to an existing hydrogen refuelling facility that supplies hydrogen to a fleet of material handling vehicles. It receives energy from renewable energy sources: wind and solar power. In the project, components of an existing hydrogen refuelling system were replaced by innovative, more efficient components, and integrated with a renewable energy source, thereby realizing a renewable energy storage capacity based on hydrogen. By storing excess renewable electricity in large quantities in the form of hydrogen, renewable energy can be effectively used for mobility, grid balancing and fuel cell material handling vehicles. By demonstrating the impact on efficiency and costs of the operations of a large logistics centre, the project demonstrated the market readiness of the components needed for storing renewable energy in hydrogen.
How does it work?
Short view on the construction of the installation
The project has received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement N° 303411