Canal Isabel II, the water management company for Madrid, Spain’s capital, will open the country’s first green hydrogen plant produced from reclaimed water in 2024, according to a statement released by the company. The construction and operation of Canal Isabel II's first hydrogen plant will be worth €7.3 million (US$ 7.88 million). The works are expected to be carried out over the next 13 months and the new facility is expected to be operational by the middle of next year.
The hydrogen plant will be built in Pinto, at the Arroyo Culebro Cuenca Media Alta treatment plant, and its initial capacity will be around 80,000 kilos of hydrogen per year. This is a cutting-edge project because Canal de Isabel II will produce the hydrogen in this plant from reclaimed water (treated water that receives additional treatment). It will do so by means of electrolysis, using as an energy source the hybridisation of two renewable technologies: photovoltaic solar generation and biogas cogeneration from the use of waste from the treatment plant itself.
The construction is expected to take 13 months and the new facility is expected to be operational by the middle of next year.
Thanks to the tertiary treatment applied in this installation, Canal Isabel II will be able to supply regenerated water to cover the entire water demand required by the electrolyser (12 litres of water are needed to produce 1 kilo of hydrogen). Thus, this hydrogen plant will be unique because it will obtain all the energy necessary for its operation from renewable sources, produced at the facility itself. It will also be the first plant in Spain to use recycled water as a source of hydrogen generation, instead of drinking water.
Additionally, the oxygen produced during electrolysis, by separating the water molecules, will be used to improve the treatment of the wastewater that arrives at this WWTP, where the pollution generated by 1.2 million inhabitants is treated.
Thanks to this project, Canal de Isabel II will open a new route for sustainable mobility, the electrification of heavy transport and the decarbonisation of industrial processes. It is not in vain that renewable hydrogen is positioning itself as one of the main energy vectors of the future as it is storable, transportable and climate neutral. Moreover, it does not generate polluting emissions during its production and consumption.