Acciona announces green hydrogen joint venture for Spain and Portugal

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Acciona’s El Romero Solar plant in Chile. Image: Acciona.

A proposed joint venture (JV) between renewables firm Acciona and US hydrogen fuel cell maker Plug Power will invest more than €2 billion (US$2.41 billion) to develop a green hydrogen platform in Spain and Portugal.

The pair have signed a memorandum of understanding to form a Madrid-headquartered JV that is expected to launch by July 2021 and will aim to reach a 20% market share of the Iberian Peninsula’s green hydrogen sector by 2030.

With Acciona providing clean electricity and Plug Power supplying electroliser technology, the companies said they have “complementary strengths” to create the platform.

The parties expect the JV to develop, operate and maintain green hydrogen projects, serving demand in Spain and Portugal. It will also provide storage, transportation and delivery services to customers, initially targeting the industrial and the mobility segments.

Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh said the JV marks an “important milestone” to establish the company’s presence in Europe’s hydrogen economy. “As we pursue our goal to produce 1,000 tons of green hydrogen on a global basis by 2028, we are thrilled to partner with Acciona to build the robust, cost-efficient green hydrogen ecosystem chain envisioned by the EU’s hydrogen roadmap.”

The news comes as the EU and European state governments increase their support for renewables-powered H2 as production costs fall. Published last year, the EU’s hydrogen strategy supports the installation of at least 6GW of renewable hydrogen electrolysers by 2024.

Spain, meanwhile, is set to play a leading role after its government unveiled its own hydrogen roadmap that targets 4GW of installed electrolysis capacity by 2030. Recent months have seen Spanish companies such as Endesa, Naturgy and Enagás make green hydrogen announcements, while Iberdrola has set up a business unit dedicated to the technology.

Naturgy and Enagás are also among the 30 members of a new coalition of European energy players that together aim to reach 95GW of solar and 67GW of electrolysis capacity by 2030 to deliver 3.6 million tonnes of green hydrogen per year. The HyDeal Ambition will target the delivery of green hydrogen across Europe at €1.5/kg (US$1.82) before 2030.

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