Uddevalla is beautifully located at the bay of the south-eastern part of Skagerrak. Uddevalla municipality has a population of almost 56.000 and was once a bustling port city with one of the largest shipyards, on the Swedish west coast. Due to the recession in the ‘70s which affected the Swedish shipyards severely, the shipyard closed in 1985.
Today Uddevalla is a modern city, strategically located between Sweden’s second-largest city, Gothenburg, and Oslo, the capital of Norway. The municipality has sustainability in focus and has set an ambitious goal to be fossil-free by 2030.
Uddevalla is planning a new industrial and port area west of the current port. Through this new establishment, a unique opportunity is offered to build a demonstration plant on how energy-intensive activities can achieve net-zero emissions of carbon dioxide by producing and storing energy. The basic idea is to produce electricity locally with solar and wind power. The energy surplus can then be stored for example in the form of hydrogen, in batteries or, thermally.
The new establishment makes it possible to adapt the industrial and port area’s operations to electric power instead of fossil fuels. At the same time design the port as an intermodal node and energy hub in the transport corridor between Oslo and Copenhagen.
When Peeter Päts, who is responsible for EU strategies in Uddevalla municipality, wanted to learn more about hydrogen and hydrogen refueling stations, he turned to the project leader for NHC at Hydrogen Sweden. He invited the NHC project team to Uddevalla for a meeting with the municipality management and in 2019 a memorandum of understanding was signed.
The hydrogen refueling station in Uddevalla, to be built by Everfuel, is planned to be in operation during 2022. Working with hydrogen in the energy system means there will be new business models for investments, increased knowledge about operations, charging posts, energy storage among others.
-We are at the beginning of our hydrogen journey and we see hydrogen as a part of the energy system in the municipality. To give an example, we are looking into the possibility to build one of the largest solar power plants on roofs in Sweden, where the surplus energy from the solar cells could be used for hydrogen production, says Peeter Päts.
The project team in Uddevalla is currently gathering interest from companies that are willing to invest in various fuel cell vehicles.
-There is a big interest from local trucking companies as well as the local bus company, who are dependent on robust and flexible operations. We also have discussions with companies such as Bring and DHL for smaller delivery vehicles. I think it is just a matter of time until we see several fuel cell vehicles in Uddevalla.