Renewables

Slovenian military barracks to host pilot hydrogen hub

slovenia army hydrogen kranj

Photo: Municipality of Kranj

Published

March 29, 2024

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Published:

March 29, 2024

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The Slovenian Armed Forces are currently the leader in the development of hydrogen technologies in the country.

The Ministry of Defence of Slovenia has initiated the Defence Resilience Hub Network in Europe (RESHUB) project, which aims to establish self-sufficient energy hubs in Slovenian military barracks.

According to the Slovenian Energy and Environment Partnership in Defence (SiEnE), it is a pan-European endeavor providing off-grid capacities for defense installations in the European Union.

The project was presented at a hydrogen training event in Zagreb by Mitja Mori, associate professor at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Ljubljana, Hina reported. He praised the Slovenian army for starting to deploy hydrogen technologies in Slovenia.

In peacetime, hydrogen would be used in public transport

Mori noted that the Ministry of Defence is making progress with NATO’s pilot project within RESHUB. He explained it would facilitate the development of self-sufficient energy logistic hubs to support the decarbonization of the transport sector.

It is also the first defense energy project backed by the European Climate Fund, he added.

slovenia army hydrogen kranj RESHUB
Photo: SiEnE

A large photovoltaic power plant with an electrolyzer for the production of green hydrogen is already being installed in the Peter Petrič barracks in Kranj. The hub would include hydrogen storage for several days of complete autonomy of the barracks in the event of an interruption of electricity supply.

The plan is to use hydrogen to achieve energy independence in the barracks and to fuel military vehicles in case of a serious crisis, Mori stressed. In peacetime it would be used in the civilian sector, for example for urban transport in Kranj, he added.

Possible use of hydrogen produced from natural gas

slovenia army hydrogen zagreb
Photo: Robert Kakarigi/Facebook

According to SiEnE, the facility will store hydrogen from electrolyzers produced using electricity from renewable sources, but also from the grid, as well as hydrogen produced from natural gas.

Hydrogen will be produced with electricity from the grid when there is a surplus in the system, and there will also be a possibility for the barracks to supply electricity to the system. In case of natural disasters, the energy centers in the barracks will be a local energy source as well as a basis for local authorities to develop green public and private transport, the documentation shows.

The project is supported by the European Defense Agency (EDA) and several EU member states.

Of note, in April of last year, Slovenia presented the idea of building photovoltaic facilities in the Edvard Peperko military barracks in Ljubljana. A few days ago, Croatia said it would subsidize the construction of charging stations for hydrogen vehicles.

The training in Zagreb was organized by the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Shipbuilding of the University of Zagreb and Siemens Energy.

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