The project, headed by the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) and led by researcher Luis Valiño of the Instituto de Carboquímica, in collaboration with the Aragonese companies ARPA and Zoilo Ríos, aims to demonstrate the capabilities of hydrogen technology for vehicles in real service conditions. This project has obtained the declaration of regional interest, which will speed up the administrative procedures for the start-up of the first hydrogen plant for public use at the El Cisne 1 service station, on the A-2 towards Madrid, located in the Ebro Hydrogen Corridor.
The total investment in the project reaches 6 million euros, with 4.5 million contributed by the CSIC through European Next Generation funds from the TransEner platform, and 1.5 million by Zoilo Ríos, who will also provide the land and the maintenance of the facilities. The intention is to have the hydrogen plant operational in 2024 to carry out tests until 2025 and evaluate the viability of these facilities. The estimated useful life of the facility is 25 years.
The business plan includes the production of green hydrogen through efficient electrolyzers using heat from solar energy and photovoltaic panels. This energy will be stored in second-use batteries at the refueling station for overnight use. A technical-economic evaluation will be carried out by CSIC to analyze the feasibility of this emerging and novel technology, intended to supply fuel cell vehicles. Both the CSIC and Zoilo Ríos are part of the board of trustees of the Hydrogen Foundation of Aragon.
The declaration of regional interest will facilitate the streamlining of administrative deadlines, consolidating the position of the Aragonese Community as a leader in the production and use of hydrogen in the local industry. These investments are expected to exceed 2,000 million euros, generating an estimated added value of around 10,900 million and up to 50,000 jobs, both direct and indirect.
ARPA, a company specializing in portable modular installations, has been committed for years to green hydrogen, which will materialize in the coming months in this new infrastructure open to the public. In addition, it is developing other solutions to power its field hospitals and army bases with hydrogen-produced energy. “This source of energy supplements these projects in a very efficient way, since in a camp or hospital located in remote places, the fact of creating energy, storing it and self-consuming it on site is very interesting,” explained Clara Arpa, CEO of ARPA mobile field equipment.