Mitsubishi and Iberdrola to develop green hydrogen projects

Ken Kawai, Mitsubishi Power’s president and CEO; Aitor Moso, Iberdrola’s director of Liberalized Business (Photo taken in October 2019). Image: Mitsubishi.

Spanish power company Iberdrola is working with car maker Mitsubishi’s power business to develop green hydrogen and battery energy storage projects.

Mitsubishi Power said on Thursday (20 May) it has signed a collaboration agreement with Iberdrola that will see the two companies create new teams to develop green hydrogen production facilities, battery storage systems and electrified heat production facilities.

Ken Kawaii, Mitsubishi Power’s president and chief executive, said the partnership will enable the company to “deploy the necessary hydrogen infrastructure, battery energy storage systems, and electrified heat production systems” to reduce carbon emissions in the energy and industrial sectors.

The collaboration will combine Iberdrola’s experience as a renewable energy developer and Mitsubishi’s power technologies, which include gas and steam turbines, generators, electrolysis units, battery storage systems, high temperature heat pumps and solar PV processes.

It is the latest collaboration Iberdrola has entered into with another power company in a bid to establish a green hydrogen project portfolio. The Spanish energy group said last month it is working with BP and Enagas on a 20MW electrolyser powered by a 40MW solar PV system, and is also planning to build a solar-plus-hydrogen power project at ceramic tile maker Porcelanosa’s factory in Villarreal.

Iberdrola revealed plans to establish a separate business unit geared towards hydrogen last September to aid decarbonisation efforts in industry and infrastructure. It also unveiled plans to build Europe’s largest solar-storage-hydrogen project in July 2020, partnering with fertilizer producer Fertiberia to develop a system pairing 100MW of solar, a 20MWh lithium-ion battery system and a 20MW electrolyser. The project is due to come online this year.

Aitor Moso, Iberdrola’s director of Liberalized Business, said in a statement that the latest partnership with Mitsubishi marks “a very important milestone” in its strategy of developing alliances with key players in the industrial sector.

recent study from BloombergNEF claims that green hydrogen could become cheaper than natural by 2050, falling by 85% over the next 30 years.

With power prices continuing to fall, Iberdrola is not the only energy company trying to gain a foothold in the nascent green hydrogen sector. Lightsource bp, bp’s renewable energy joint venture, said in March it will spend close to £20 million on a solar-plus-storage facility that will power an electrolyser for a UK steel manufacturer. The European Union launched its own green hydrogen strategy last year, and several developers have announced their own green hydrogen projects in AustraliaFrance and Saudi Arabia in recent months.

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