The INGRID project will combine the recent advances in Smart Grids and hydrogen-based energy storage to match energy supply and demand  and optimize the electricity generated by intermittent Renewable Energy Sources while ensuring security and stability of the power distribution network  

The INGRID project aims at demonstrating the effective usage of safe, high-density, solid-state hydrogen storage systems  for power supply and demand balancing within active power distribution grids with high penetration of intermittent Distributed Generation (Renewable Energy Sources in particular)

The main project innovation will consist of combining hydrogen solid-storage systems with Smart Grid cutting-edge ICT-based active network control technologies for balancing highly variable power supply and demand in a scenario of high penetration of renewable energy sources 

Scientific and technological objectives

  • To effectively integrate larger yet decentralized, fluctuating renewable energy sources (within the 30-50% penetration level) without compromising grid reliability and security, based on 
    • effective rapid and safe hydrogen-based energy storage
    • deliver solutions capable to timely and instantaneously accept and manage any RES fluctuation and variability
  • To design and make available advanced ICT monitoring and control tools  aimed at simulating, managing, monitoring, control ling power dispatching in compliance with the power request of the grid, allowing a correct balance between variable energy supply and demand and simulate.  
  • To demonstrate the usage of an innovative hydrogen solid-state storage technology, as safe and high-density energy storage systems, to be integrated in a closed loop coupled with water electrolyzers and fuel cell systems with the objective of achieving a high efficiency regenerative loop (larger than 50-60%) with a reasonable cost.
  • To perform limited demonstrative scaled-down test case in Puglia region for assessing the storage system’ high balancing capabilities in presence of high variable electricity demand consisting in a small pilot version of a green urban mobility system integrating conventional public transport designed to be self-sustainable and increase the environmental sustainability.


The main innovation of the INGRID project will consist of combining solid-state high-density hydrogen storage systems and electrolysis with advanced ICT technologies for smart distribution grids monitoring and control in a scenario of high penetration of renewable energy sources in order to balance power supply and demand.

The consortium will design, build, deploy and operate a 39 MWh energy storage facility using McPhy hydrogen-based solid state storage and Hydrogenics electrolysis technology and fuel cell power systems in the Puglia region in Italy, where over 3.500 MW of solar, wind, and biomass are already installed. The hydrogen energy storage installation, with more than 1 ton of safely stored hydrogen (the largest ever built), including a novel fast responding 1.2 MW hydrogen generator, will be fully controlled by advanced smart grid solutions provided by Engineering and will provide effective and smart balancing support for the local grid managed by Enel Distribuzione. Several potential value streams for the  generated carbon-neutral hydrogen will be investigated. 

Expected Outcomes

INGRID will deliver the following concrete outcomes:

  • Increase the Round-trip Efficiency (up to 50-60%) – actually 35% (70% for WE, 50% for FC)
  • Increase Modularity, the Ability of operating in charging/discharging cycles with no performance degradation
  • Increase the Energy Rate (i.e. Energy Density) up to 600 kWh / m3, that is almost double of the energy density achievable by hydrogen storing in large caverns, and the Safety 
  • Increase  the Modularity (more than 4kg per 100 disks/modules)
  • Increase the Dispatchability, and the Response to Fluctuant Electricity
  • Increase the capability of the Power Distribution Grid to integrate and host higher shares of RES (up to 35-50%), i.e. reduce the power curtailed due to the network congestion (and consequently reduce the costs of the electricity produced by RES and increase the overall efficiency of the electricity supply system)
  • Foster the ramp up of the green Hydrogen value chain, and propose win-win business models for electric storage and hydrogen value chain
  • Thanks to INGRID expected outcomes, the role of hydrogen-based technologies in supporting renewable energy integration and power supply and demand balancing will be fully unveiled. 

INGRID - High-capacity hydrogen-based green-energy storage solutions for grid balancing
Work partially supported by European Community under the ENERGY programme of the 7th FP for RTD - project INGRID, contract 296012. The Author is solely responsible for the content of this paper. It does not represent the opinion of the European Community, and the European Community is not responsible for any use that might be made of data appearing therein.

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