News / 3.4.2024

Helen to invest in Helsinki’s first green hydrogen production plant

Helen will build a green hydrogen production plant in Vuosaari, Helsinki. This is Helen’s first hydrogen project with which the company will increase its expertise to meet the needs of large-scale hydrogen production and enhance the flexibility to the entire energy system. This is also the first green hydrogen production plant to be built in Helsinki.

Photos: Arkkitehtitoimisto Virkkunen & Co

The capacity of 3H2 – Helsinki Hydrogen Hub pilot plant project – will be approximately three MW. The produced hydrogen will primarily be used through a hydrogen filling station to be built in connection with the plant, which is mainly intended for heavy transport. It is also possible to deliver hydrogen to customers in containers. The plant will be located in the vicinity of Helsinki’s district heating network and the busy Vuosaari Harbour. The waste heat generated in the production process will be utilised in Helen’s district heating network, which means that the overall energy efficiency of the plant is over 90%.

“The 3H2 project is the first of its kind in the world, combining four different sectors: electricity, transportation, heating and hydrogen as well as flexibility between them. Hydrogen is an essential part of Helen’s new strategy and we are committed to investing in the development of the hydrogen business. We are excited to start building Helsinki’s first green hydrogen production plant,” says Sari Mannonen, SVP, New business and hydrogen.

The aim is to launch the hydrogen production in the new plant in 2026 and open the filling station in 2027. The project will reduce CO2 emissions by 3,700 tonnes per year. The amount has been calculated taking into account the replacement of fossil fuels in heavy traffic and the utilisation of waste heat in the district heating network. The project was granted an investment aid of EUR 8.25 million for large-scale demonstration projects on new energy technology by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. In addition, EUR 292,500 of Environmental Penny funds were used for the containers to be obtained for the storage and transport of hydrogen.

Green hydrogen produced with renewable electricity without emissions

In the 3H2 plant, hydrogen will be produced with renewable electricity, which means that the production is emission-free. Traditional hydrogen produced with fossil fuels causes significant carbon dioxide emissions. Reduction of emissions makes green hydrogen an attractive alternative especially for heavy transport, but also for other sectors in which electrification is challenging.

This is the world’s first hydrogen project, which is designed to be an integral part of the optimisation of society’s overall energy system in the electricity, heat, transport and hydrogen markets as well as to serve as the solution for the flexibility of the energy system. In this project, waste heat generated in hydrogen production will be used in the district heating network in Helsinki, which means that the project is much more energy efficient than any project so far.

Havainnekuva 3H2-hankkeesta

The aim of the project is to pilot the green hydrogen production and optimise production in terms of the demand for hydrogen, renewable electricity production and electricity market. In addition, we will use green hydrogen production to make sure that the new hydrogen technologies are functional. One important goal is also to maximise energy efficiency and increase flexibility in the energy system.

Helen has announced that it is planning to launch large-scale hydrogen production in the Vuosaari power plant area after the construction of this pilot plant. We have also commenced preliminary studies on the development of an industrial hydrogen valley in Uusimaa in collaboration with Neste Corporation, Gasgrid Finland Oy and Vantaan Energia Oy.

We have set a target of making our energy production carbon neutral by 2030. Additionally, we plan to phase out combustion-based energy production by 2040. Our electricity production already consists mainly of wind, solar, hydro and nuclear power. In heat production, we are constantly increasing the use of sustainable bioenergy, electric boilers and heat pumps utilising waste and environmental heat. In the future, hydrogen will be an integral part of the sustainable energy system.

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