Global renewable energy developer Hive Energy, and Italian circular and renewable projects developer Renovo Bioeconomy, have created a JV, named RenHive, to establish Northern Italy’s first green hydrogen valley.
The project, based in Mantua, was officially announced in May, having secured the highest public allowance in the latest national tender.
The Mantua Hydrogen Valley project has been promoted by the Province of Mantua as well as partners in the industrial sectors, including the Sapio Group, national leader of hydrogen and oxygen production.
At the core of the Mantua Hydrogen Valley project is the decarbonization of the municipality. Each year the planned plants will produce an additional 1,500 tons of green hydrogen, offsetting the production of 14,000 tons of CO2. Hydrogen produced at this site will unlock innovative uses of green hydrogen for hard-to-abate industries, including the conversion of locomotives, ships, and trucks. In addition, an applied hydrogen research centre will be constituted by some local universities in connection with the project.
RenHive, together with Sapio Group, was granted the highest allowance through the National Recovery and Resilience plan [PNRR] latest tender. The tender saw the allocation of €20 million among more than 50 winning projects from across the country. In addition, RenHive was amongst 16 companies awarded an extra €9 million from the EU, with the Interregional Innovation Investment plan (I3).
RenHive will develop and install photovoltaic plants for ca. 34 MW that will feed the hydrogen plant through a blend of private wire, storage systems and grid connection. Part of the solar plant will be built in a decommissioned industrial area and the rest on a greenfield site, covering a total of ca. 45 hectares. Parallel to this, Sapio Group will install a 10 MW electrolyser, doubling the current production of 1.500 tons/year of hydrogen and shifting towards green hydrogen.
Stefano Salerno, Italian Country Manager at Hive Energy, commented on the project: “I am incredibly proud to be part of the RenHive and Sapio partnership that is bringing this project forward. Both Renovo and Sapio offer considerable opportunities for the project, alongside Hive. With Renovo’s experience in project development and Sapio’s position as a leading hydrogen producer we believe this project will offer numerous benefits to the Mantova area and Northern Italy as a whole. The Mantua project was granted the highest grant available, which is evidence of Italy’s commitment to creating a greener and carbon friendly future.”
Nicolò Arvati, Director at Renovo Bioeconomy, added: “The Mantua project is truly one of the first innovative, yet ready-to-build, examples of how green Hydrogen Valleys will remodel energy generation and uses for local municipalities. Such achievement is a first step towards replicating this project in other areas, and it is precisely in this direction that we, together with our partners Sapio and Hive Energy, are working”.