Under the pilot, Uniper Energy Storage plan to test the construction and operation of a new salt cavern specifically built for large-scale hydrogen storage in a real-world environment at the disused natural gas storage facility in Krummhoern, Lower Saxony.

During the trial, the company will examine the operation, equipment and materials for hydrogen compatibility, with hopes of gaining experience to further develop the project.

Set to be one of the first of its kind, Uniper says it will invest approximately €10m ($10.2m) in the project, with storage volume up to 250,000 cubic meters of hydrogen.

Olaf Lies, Lower Saxony’s Environment Minister, said, “The climate crisis and the war against Ukraine are forcing us to push ahead with the energy transition at top speed. It has long been clear that the energy transition cannot be achieved with electrons alone. Hydrogen will be a central element for the success of the energy transition.

“We need it to become independent of fossil fuels and to decarbonise our energy sector and industry. The advantage of hydrogen is that it can be stored. In order for it to develop this advantage, we need storage facilities, including caverns.

“I’m pleased that Uniper wants to use cavern storage for hydrogen here in Lower Saxony. We are happy to support this path. It’s in all our interests that we go forward quickly.”

The Krummhoern developments complement Uniper’s nearby ‘Green Wilhelmshaven’ project, with both utilising a geographic location with established energy connections to gas and electricity grids, which the company hopes could push the region to become an energy hub in central Europe.

Read more: Uniper, Ørsted team up for hydrogen hub project that could meet 10% of Germany’s hydrogen demand

Commenting on the funding announcement, Doug Waters, Managing Director of Uniper Energy Storage, said, “We are delighted about the funding commitment from the state of Lower Saxony. With this pilot project, we are gathering the empirical data that we urgently need in a world without fossil fuels: namely, how we can realise the storage capability of green electricity in a carbon dioxide free future.”


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