The Municipality of Oradea has taken a bold leap as part of its decarbonization efforts. The local district heating operator wants to build an 80 MW solar park to power an electrolyzer system for the production of green hydrogen that would be mixed with fossil gas in its plant.
The European Union eased its funding rules for natural gas projects with the onset of the energy crisis, even before Russia invaded Ukraine in late February. But such endeavors can get administrative support only if there is an option to mix in or switch to clean hydrogen.
The city of Oradea, located in Romania’s northwest, on the border with Hungary, has already distinguished itself with several innovative and green projects. Counting on the EU’s commitment to provide abundant funding, it decided to take a step further in the process of reducing its dependence on fossil fuels.
The municipality is seeking consultants for feasibility studies for the solar park and electrolyzer facility
The municipal district heating firm, Termoficare Oradea, has launched public calls to hire consultants for its projects for an 80 MW solar park and a hydrogen production facility, Profit.ro reported. The city, seat of the Bihor county, wants to set up the photovoltaic system at the former coal-fired thermal power plant’s slag and ash dump, which has been closed for six years now.
The green hydrogen plant would be powered by the solar farm and the plan is to mix the fuel with natural gas in the boilers that provide district heating. The consultants will be in charge of the necessary feasibility studies.
Mixing in green hydrogen would reduce the costs for both fossil gas and CO2 emission permits
A decrease in the use of natural gas, which is becoming ever more expensive, would also cut costs for obtaining carbon dioxide emission permits. The competitiveness of green hydrogen is another matter, but it is strengthening by the day with the current rate of fossil gas price hikes.
The report adds the hydrogen production plant would also be equipped with a storage system. Termoficare Oradea intends to obtain European funds for the implementation of the two projects, according to the article.
The government has just launched a EUR 149 million tendering procedure for support to hydrogen projects. The scheme is funded from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.