Hanover Municipal Drainage

Hanover Municipal Drainage


Blueprint for sector coupling - A sewage treatment plant becomes an innovation driver of the energy transition with green hydrogen

Lower Saxony's oldest sewage treatment plant will soon not only supply Hannover with clean water, but also public transport with green hydrogen. In the large-scale modernisation concept, Stadtentwässerung Hannover wants, among other things, to drastically reduce its own energy consumption of the sewage treatment plant in Herrenhausen and produce green hydrogen itself. The Lower Saxony Ministry for the Environment, Energy, Building and Climate Protection is funding the investment and research project with 6.37 million euros.  

"It is with great pleasure that I support this lighthouse project in the Hannover Region. Hydrogen is the fuel of the energy transition. It shows in an exemplary way how the transformation of Lower Saxony's economy towards climate neutrality brings forth new cooperations and opportunities. In the future, we will not only need hydrogen production on a large, industrial scale, but also within the framework of such decentralised projects if we want to meet the demand for the decarbonisation of our economy and thus make the location and the jobs here future-proof. The project also has enormous charisma for municipal operations throughout Germany," said Lower Saxony's Environment Minister Olaf Lies, who handed over the funding today at the "Future Forum of the Water Industry" in Hanover.

For the City of Hannover, this project is an important milestone. "As the state capital of Hannover, we focus on sustainability and resource conservation in the accomplishment of our tasks and make this objective the basis of our actions. This includes investing in forward-looking technologies. We are very proud of this creative and innovative project in Hannover. It shows how municipal partnerships bring us a whole step closer to our goal of climate neutrality in Hannover by 2035," said Belit Onay, Lord Mayor of the City of Hannover.

What is particularly forward-looking about this lighthouse project is the sector coupling. For example, the municipal wastewater treatment plant wants to primarily use the oxygen for wastewater treatment that is produced as a by-product during the production of hydrogen. At present, this is extracted from the ambient air in most sewage treatment plants with turbo compressors - a process for which a large part of the energy consumption of the sewage treatment plant is necessary. In addition to the aeration basins, the project focuses on filtrate water and ozone in a fourth purification stage. The hydrogen produced is to be used, among other things, to power buses operated by ÜSTRA and regiobus Hannover GmbH from 2023 in order to reduce emissions in Hannover's public transport system. "We are relying on hydrogen technology to enable sustainable and future-proof local public transport in Hannover. With Stadtentwässerung Hannover we have the ideal partner to source green hydrogen locally," said Elke Maria van Zadel, CEO of ÜSTRA and regiobus Managing Director. The waste heat generated during the electrolysis process is fed into the district heating network. Part of the project is also the development of an intelligent plant control system for electrolysis systems by the partners Aspens GmbH and Leibniz Universität Hannover.

Only electricity from renewable energies is used as the energy source for electrolysis, so that the entire value chain isCO2-neutral. Furthermore, Stadtentwässerung uses process water instead of valuable drinking water for hydrogen production, thus making an additional contribution to sustainability. "As a municipal company, we bear responsibility and invest in the sustainable future of the state capital of Hannover. Our goal is quite clear: we want to ensure a clean water cycle while conserving resources and using the most modern methods, thus ensuring water quality for around 750,000 people in Hannover and the surrounding area," said Operations Manager Matthias Görn.  

Schrand Energy Plant

Schrand Energy Plant


Prof. Dr. -Ing. Reckzügel (Professor at Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences, Professor of Innovative Energy Technology and Thermal Energy Technology), Patrick Wösten (Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences, research assistant in the project), Minister Meyer, Jörg Wilke (Managing Director "Northern Institute of Thinking") (second row), Timo Schrand (Managing Director of schrand.energy GmbH & Co. KG), Paul Hoffmann (Project Manager Hydrogen at schrand.energy GmbH & Co. KG.) (second row), Uwe Bartels (Former State Minister)

Self-sufficient energy system in the building

In Essen (Oldenburg), the company schrand.energy GmbH & Co. KG is planning a CO2-neutral and energy-autonomous, company-owned new building. The concept called Schrand Energy Plant is developed from the beginning as a modular, reproducible and scalable overall solution in order to be able to transfer it to other buildings.

The Schrand Energy Plant uses a photovoltaic system to supply renewable energy to the respective company site. The excess energy is then used in a PEM electrolysis unit to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, store these gases temporarily in pressurized gas tanks, and then convert them into electrical power and heat in a hydrogen fuel cell as needed. The Energy Plant is thus intended to provide a total system consisting of energy storage, electrolyzer, fuel cell and hydrogen tank that can be adapted to the respective consumer.

On March 7, Lower Saxony's Environment and Energy Minister Christian Meyer handed over the funding. Schrand.energy will receive funding of around 2.7 million euros for the implementation and the cooperation partner Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences 230,000 euros. 

Environment and Energy Minister Christian Meyer: "Renewable energies are essential if we want to protect the climate. Sometimes, however, we have large quantities without being able to store them. The project kills two birds with one stone by combining solar energy and hydrogen technology: surplus solar energy can thus be reused, and hydrogen can be produced with renewable energies. That's good for the climate and your wallet, and it strengthens the local economy with cheap, clean energy."


Get H2

Get H2


The GET H2 project aims to make hydrogen available nationwide. © GET H2

Get H2

Hydrogen will play a central role in achieving the climate goals. To ensure that hydrogen is available nationwide, the GET H2 project is developing a nationwide infrastructure with the coupling of all sectors. Regions where a lot of renewable electricity is generated from wind and solar energy are to be directly connected to hydrogen production and consumption with the help of the necessary infrastructure. 

News (01/31/2023): RWE orders two 100-megawatt electrolysis plants for GET H2 in Lingen from Linde

RWE has ordered two more 100 MW PEM electrolysers for the GETH2 project. In total, an electrolysis capacity of 300 MW is to be created in Lingen by 2026. An EU funding decision for the IPCEI project is still pending. More...

Within the framework of the "GET H2″ project, hydrogen is to be made available nationwide by building up the necessary infrastructure. To this end, the green hydrogen is initially to be produced with renewable energy sources and made directly available via the existing gas infrastructure for industry, transport and heat. In addition, the hydrogen can also serve as a basis for the production of e-fuels. Unused hydrogen is to be stored in underground salt caverns and used as needed, e.g. for reverse power generation during hours of low wind and low sun.

The implementation is to take place in several steps until 2030. The first step is the "GET H2 Nukleus" project. In this project, a network of around 130 kilometres from Lingen to Gelsenkirchen is to be built, which will connect the production of green hydrogen in the northwest of Lower Saxony with industrial consumers in Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia. From production via water electrolysis in the north to transport for industrial customers in Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia, the first publicly accessible hydrogen infrastructure is to be established.



The transmission system operator GASCADE Gastransport GmbH transports around 109 billion m³ of natural gas per year via its own 2,900 km long pipeline network. In the future, the network will also be used to transport hydrogen.

Logo: © GASCADE Gastransport GmbH

BASF is a chemical company with over 110,000 employees. The company is currently developing methane pyrolysis, a process for the climate-friendly production of hydrogen.

Logo: © BASF SE

BP Europa SE is an international energy group with around 10,500 employees. In the area of fuels, the group is researching climate-friendly alternatives that can replace fossil fuels.

Logo: © BP Europa SE

RWE Generation SE is part of RWE AG and responsible for power generation. In the field of hydrogen, the company is involved in everything from the generation of renewable energies to the production of hydrogen and its storage.

Logo: © RWE AG

Thyssengas GmbH is a long-distance gas network operator for natural gas with a 4,400 km long transport network and conducts research in various projects on the topic of hydrogen and hydrogen infrastructure.

Logo: © Thyssengas GmbH

Evonik is a specialty chemicals company with more than 33,000 employees. The company is currently working on an innovative membrane to make electrolysis more efficient and thus more economical.

Logo: © Evonik Industries AG

Nowega GmbH is a long-distance pipeline operator with around 1,500 km of high-pressure gas pipeline. In the future, hydrogen can be distributed in the pipeline network to potential customers in Lower Saxony.

Logo: © Nowega GmbH

H2 Green Power & Logistics GmbH is located in Münster and deals with the purchase, import and distribution of hydrogen.

Logo: © H2 Green Power & Logistics GmbH

©Salzgitter AG - Logo

Uniper is an international energy group with around 12,000 employees whose hydrogen activities are spread across the entire value chain.

Logo: © Uniper SE

The energy supplier ENERTRAG employs 540 people across Europe and has been producing green hydrogen from wind energy since 2011.


The steel and technology group Salzgitter AG has over 24,000 employees and wants to produce climate-friendly steel in the future with the help of hydrogen.

Logo: © Salzgitter AG

Open Grid Europe GmbH (OGE) is a European transmission system operator with a pipeline network of approximately 12,000 km.

Logo: © Open Grid Europe GmbH

CHESS - Development of a hydrogen infrastructure in the Wesermarsch region

CHESS - Development of a hydrogen infrastructure in the Wesermarsch region


CHESS - Development of a hydrogen infrastructure in the Wesermarsch region

As part of the CHESS (Compressed Hydrogen Energy Storage Solution) project in Huntorf (Wesermarsch district), EWE and Uniper want to jointly convert their respective existing gas and electricity infrastructures. The aim is to build a new hydrogen infrastructure on site quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively.

As part of the CHESS joint project, regionally produced electricity from wind and sun will be fed into a 30-megawatt electrolyzer via the existing power grid for green hydrogen production. This will be built jointly by EWE and Uniper in a planned joint venture. The electrolysis process uses electricity to split water into hydrogen. If green electricity is used for this, green hydrogen is produced. This hydrogen can then be transported directly to consumers via the gas grid.

Hydrogen production and hydrogen storage thought together

In addition to the production and transport of green hydrogen, the bridge to another EWE project is to be realized as part of CHESS: The connection of the hydrogen infrastructure to an underground cavern storage facility of EWE in Huntorf with the aim of storing green hydrogen and making it available on demand.

This storage project is part of a connecting large-scale project called "Clean Hydrogen Coastline". It brings together the generation, transport, storage and use of green hydrogen in industry and heavy-duty transport. With this large-scale project, EWE applied for funding under the European IPCEI program (Important Project of Common European Interest) in February 2021 and reached the second stage of the procedure in May 2021. Funding is currently being reviewed at European level.

The connection of the EWE Uniper project CHESS to the cavern storage facility in Huntorf creates some synergies:

  • Hydrogen generation can be grid-serving, i.e. when there is plenty of wind or sun and consumer energy demand is low, energy can be stored in very large quantities for times of "lulls" and used again later. Seasonal differences in wind and solar conditions can thus be compensated for.
  • Making hydrogen available on demand improves the security of supply for hydrogen users. Large-scale hydrogen storage makes this possible.
  • The cavern site in Huntorf offers potential for an expansion of hydrogen production. Depending on the rate of expansion of the regional hydrogen economy, it would be possible to gradually expand the electrolysis capacity up to the gigawatt scale.

This is how it should continue

EWE and Uniper signed a cooperation agreement at the beginning of 2021 to implement the CHESS project. According to the agreement, a joint 30-megawatt electrolyzer will supply the first hydrogen customers from mid-2026. The speed at which the subsequent expansion of hydrogen production capacities can be implemented will be determined by the customers' hydrogen sales and demand.

More about the project

Uniper is an international energy company with around 11,500 employees in more than 40 countries. The company plans to become CO2-neutral in European power generation by 2035. With around 33 gigawatts of installed capacity, Uniper is one of the world's largest power producers.

© Uniper

©TU Clausthal

With around 9,100 employees, EWE AG is one of Germany's largest utilities focusing on corresponding infrastructure in the hydrogen sector.


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    Hyways For Future

    Hyways For Future


    ©EWE Hydrogen Fuelling

    Green hydrogen to power cars, trucks and municipal utility vehicles. Source: ©EWE

    Hyways For Future

    Producing hydrogen locally with climate-friendly energy and using it locally - that is the goal of Hyways for Future. This includes building up electrolysis capacities and hydrogen filling stations, investing in fleets of buses, refuse collection vehicles, trucks and cars. The green hydrogen is to be delivered to filling stations and used for local passenger transport, waste collection or trucks.

    Lower Saxony offers the best prerequisites for being a pioneer region for hydrogen in the transport sector. In addition to the large number of wind turbines, the region is also home to caverns for storing hydrogen and a large number of potential consumers.

    As the project's consortium leader,EWE has the know-how, infrastructure and transport networks to use and transport the electricity generated from renewable energies for the production of green hydrogen in the electrolysis process.

    EWE and partners are investing a total of around 90 million euros in the model region in order to quickly realise a market activation of the hydrogen economy in the Northwest. For Hyways for Future, funding of up to €20 million is being provided in the form of investment grants for the acquisition of hydrogen and fuel technology through the HyLand programme.


    With around 9,100 employees, EWE AG is one of the largest utilities in Germany that focuses on the corresponding infrastructure in the hydrogen sector.

    Logo: © EWE AG


    Steyerberg wants to become a central energy producer

    Steyerberg wants to become a central energy producer


    Steyerberg wants to become a central location for renewable energies

    With only about 5,000 inhabitants, Flecken Steyerberg in the district of Nienburg wants to become a central energy location in Lower Saxony. On a former military site, green hydrogen is to be produced on an industrial scale with the green electricity from 12 wind turbines in the "H2art of Lower Saxony" project.  

    On his summer trip, Lower Saxony's Minister President Stephan Weil visited Steyerberg in the district of Nienburg on Tuesday, 05 July. There, on the 1,100-hectare former NATO forest site, a wind farm by the company WestWind Energy is to be built with 12 wind turbines that can generate up to 180 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. The electricity will provide the base load for an electrolyser, but could also be fed into the grid, the organisers say. Additional electricity demand can be secured through the direct connection to the 380 kV north-south power line that transports offshore electricity to the south.

    "Here we have the ideal triad of wind energy, biogas plant and the connection to the north-south electricity motorway. In addition, there is the favourable proximity to the future hydrogen start-up network, as planned in the gas network development plan," explains Christian Alvermann from the municipal economic development department."

    The hydrogen is to be used locally. The local chemical plant Oxxynova plans to produce synthetic fuels and recycle plastic waste that has not been recyclable so far. In addition, hydrogen filling stations in the districts of Nienburg, Diepholz and Schaumburg can be supplied, as well as a planned hydrogen filling station for inland vessels on the Weser. A hydrogen storage facility is also to be set up on the site itself. The water required for this will be provided by four local waterworks.

    Construction is scheduled for 2024. The capacity will then be increased in stages to 1GW of hydrogen.

    Around 4 hectares of forest must be cleared for the construction of the wind turbines, which will be reforested. For the construction, already built-up areas will continue to be used, but also vacant areas where pine trees have already died due to drought.


    ©UVNSource: NWN

    Lower Saxony's Minister President Stephan Weil informs himself on site. Picture: NWN