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Key Slovenian companies to unify the electricity and gas sectors stepping into a carbon-free society

Slovenia’s manager of the natural gas transmission network Plinovodi, together with the operator of the country’s electric power transmission network ELES, the largest producer and seller of electricity HSE group and Slovenian hydroelectric power company HESS submitted an application to the European Innovation Fund for the SLOP2G Project.

The project represents the first concrete step into a carbon-free society and an energy transition in the field of unifying the sectors for electricity and gas.

“I’m glad that this joint initiative had given concrete results,” said Marjan Eberlinc, General Manager of Plinovodi. “We are aware that this application, despite its complexity and difficulty, is only the first step on a long journey. However, we are encouraged by the established spirit of cooperation between the sectors, joining and recognising the importance of our future work. I can say that this is already a test of our energy transition as the most demanding process for the power industry in the following decade.”

SLOP2G integrally links two energy locations where renewable electricity and the surplus of electricity in the system will be converted to green hydrogen which, through methanation, will be further converted into synthetic methane. On both locations, the green hydrogen and synthetic methane will be available for injection into the gas transmission network and for use by industrial and commercial users.

The options for injections will be both in the form of green hydrogen through hydrogen pipelines or synthetic methane through gas lines. The project also envisions the establishment of optimisation and simulation models for optimising the sources of electricity needed to produce green hydrogen and the use of mixtures of hydrogen and synthetic gas with natural gas. The important part of the project is to establish a trading platform for renewable gases with certificates of origin for the green gas.     

The first Slovenian green hydrogen project brings together key Slovenian companies in the field of managing transmission networks for gas and electricity and producers of electricity from various renewable sources. This, alongside a demonstrative introduction of the project for green electricity into green gas, actually represents the infrastructural intertwining of electricity and gas sectors that, besides the already recognised goals and benefits, will have a much larger impact.

“The Slovenian power industry proves once again that through cooperation and networking we can come up with projects that bring benefits to the society, environment and the economy,” commented Bogdan Barbič, CEO of HESS. “To bring about the climate strategy, it is crucial to produce green energy and store it long-term. The multi-purpose projects by hydropower plants on lower Sava River are already proof that in Slovenia we can treat our water sources responsibly and by doing this develop the environment. This project of Slovenian green hydrogen is mostly an opportunity to showcase our hidden potential when reaching for energy excellence.” 

Green hydrogen is a connecting link and energy product for the transition into a carbon-free society as was declared by the European Union with the European Green Deal, the European strategy for hydrogen and the EU strategy for linking the energy system.

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