14. January 2021 Meghan Sapp

Total and Engie team up on 40MW electrolyzer to power La Mède biorefinery

In France, Total and Engie have signed a cooperation agreement to design, develop, build and operate the Masshylia project, France’s largest renewable hydrogen production site at Châteauneuf-les-Martigues in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur South region.

Located at the heart of Total’s La Mède biorefinery and powered by solar farms with a total capacity of more than 100 MW, the 40 MW electrolyzer will produce 5 metric tons of green hydrogen per day to meet the needs of the biofuel production process at Total’s La Mède biorefinery, avoiding 15,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year.

An innovative management solution for the production and storage of hydrogen will be implemented to manage the intermittent production of solar electricity and the biorefinery’s need for continuous hydrogen supply.

The project thus integrates the implementation of 5 innovations that prefigure the industry’s decarbonation solutions, without any precedent in Europe:

  • A digital piloting system for the continuous supply of hydrogen with real-time management of solar electricity production,
  • Optimizing the integration of several photovoltaic farms supplying the electrolyzer to minimize energy losses and limit grid congestion,
  • Large-scale hydrogen storage to balance intermittent electricity production and continuous hydrogen consumption,
  • A direct current connection between a photovoltaic farm and the electrolyzer to improve the energy balance,
  • Enhanced industrial safety thanks to the use of 3D digital models for each component of the installation

Beyond this first phase, new renewable farms may be developed by the partners for the electrolyzer, which has the capacity to produce up to 15 tons of green hydrogen per day.