Mariestad starts construction on hydrogen-fuelled pre-school

Mariestad starts construction on hydrogen-fuelled pre-school

Actions speak louder than words, and the small Swedish town of Mariestad continues to break ground in sustainability with the news that it will this month start construction on a new fossil-free pre-school for 140 children.

The setting will be provided with a RE8760 renewable energy system from Nilsson Energy, producing green hydrogen as an energy carrier.

Construction begins this month (October 2020) and is expected to be completed in January 2022, H2 View understands.

Positive change has been taking shape in Mariestad for several years now, change that has the potential to change how the world understands and embraces sustainable energy generation for homes, housing estates, disconnected communities, city council buildings, schools or hospitals and more crucially even for mobility (powering vehicles and boats).

Mariestad is a community, located in the middle of the Swedish countryside, halfway between the capital city Stockholm and Gothenburg – an industrial city located close to the western coast of the country. With a population of 24,000 and drastically changed economic conditions, Mariestad’s Mayor Johan Abrahamsson along with the city council decided to make some bold decisions to attract investment back to the city and also give the youth a reason to stay.

It embarked on a path to becoming carbon neutral city by 2030. The city analysed its carbon footprint and identified that its cars, schools and community buildings were the largest consumers of energy (besides private homes) and, as reported by H2 View in its very first weeks of publishing, made the bold decision to move to a solar PV-based hydrogen generation solution that could provide adequate energy to all of these – purely from renewable energy sources.

Fossil-free pre-school

A pre-school is now part of that sustainable community, part of Mariestad municipality’s sustainable project the ‘ElectriVillage’.

Solar cells on the preschool’s roof will provide most of the energy needs, while the surplus energy will be stored in the form of hydrogen energy until it is then required. This will be particularly pertinent during the notoriously dark periods of the year in Sweden, when there is simply not enough sun and solar power to meet the building’s energy needs.

As the supplier for the energy solution at the heart of the new pre-school, Nilsson Energy CEO Pontus Lundgren enthused, “We are very happy and proud to deliver a complete RE8760 renewable energy system to the pre-school in Mariestad. Here we break common ground and show that it is possible to store renewable energy until it is needed and that it is relevant to locally produce green hydrogen as an energy carrier.”

The news caps a particularly positive few weeks for Nilsson Energy, having secured the inaugural ‘Best Gas/Hydrogen Brand’ at the CHARGE Energy Awards 2020 on 28th September, taken part in the first ever hydrogen panel discussion with H2 View at the same CHARGE (virtual) event, and also unveiling the Hydrogen Dome of Sweden – a striking hydrogen innovation hub building that it is hoped will become a platform for dialogue on innovation and sustainable development.

Reflecting on the announcement of the new pre-school that it will power, Martina Wettin, Founder & Business Development Manager of Nilsson Energy, told H2 View, “We are so happy to be providing the energy solution, including long-term storage in green decentralised hydrogen! Action speaks louder than words, and these children may grow up in an environment where it becomes obvious that you can save the sun until it is needed.”

Wettin noted that the project had been three years in the making, only heightening the sense of excitement and satisafaction surrounding it.

“I’m so glad that we now have the shovel on the hill at Mariestad ElectriVillage,” she added. “This is an important joint pioneering work that demonstrates the relevance of decentralised green hydrogen. Sweden’s progressive side is on display here, and Nilsson Energy is the proud supplier of the turnkey RE8760 energy system.”

RE8760 energy system at-a-glance

Provided for stationary or container-based applications (generators) with decentralised onsite hydrogen production, the Nilsson Energy RE8760 system brings carbon dioxide-free off-grid energy applications to life – whether for back-up power, peak-shaving or simply onsite renewable hydrogen production.

The system caters to commercial customer needs using proven and commercialised technology, and contains bespoke optimising and steering algorithms for a broad range of applications.

When additional energy is needed the stored hydrogen is converted to electricity and heat via fuel cell technology. The RE8760 can use any water supply available and can bring water to site creating closed system solutions, should this be required.

The RE8760 system also produces oxygen when splitting water (H2O) into hydrogen and oxygen, creating another valuable resource for its customer.

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