A French community of municipalities has seen its efforts pay off

As part of the latest closing of ADEME’s territorial ecosystem call for projects, the HyTouraine project was selected along with 13 other winners. This is a win recognition for the community of municipalities Touraine Vallée de l’Indre (TVI) which has never given up.

This project is led by a consortium of five local players which are all coordinated by the Indre et Loire energy association of municipalities (SIEIL 37*). This is the first step for producing hydrogen locally for industrial and mobility uses (it will power refuse lorries). The objective is to deploy a hydrogen ecosystem in the department by 2030, notably by installing refuelling infrastructures. The aid from ADEME amounts to €3.4 million (about $3.7 million).

In fact, HyTouraine was born from the synergy of two projects that aim to create a complete and innovative hydrogen ecosystem: “HySOPARC” initiated by the Touraine Vallée de l’Indre community of municipalities and “Hyd’EM” supported by the SIEIL.

In this department, the vision was truly brought about by Touraine Vallée de l’Indre. And Hydrogen Today would like to pay tribute to the role played by an elected official, Alain Esnault. He is the mayor of Sorigny, who was President of TVI and remains, as of today, the Vice-President and referent on the hydrogen case. He never gave up, despite the rejection of his initial case file. At the outset, the goal was to develop a station on the Isoparc business park, located in the commune of Sorigny and at the gates of the metropolis. The station has a capacity of 200 kg per day and it will enable the testing of new generation compressors*. It will be operational this year and will be the first filling station of this type in the Centre-Val de Loire region.

The Touraine Vallée de l’Indre station will be located at the exit of the A10 motorway (a busy road shall we say). It will be able to contribute to the network in France and Europe. It will also be open to the public, in order to meet the needs of mobile and captive fleets, with a double pressure of 350 and 700 bars.

TVI is currently the only local authority in France to have a hydrogen-powered refuse lorry (acquired under the European Interreg NWE programme – HECTOR project). It has also supplied some fifteen Pragma hydrogen-powered bicycles (rented in the summer for tourism), which have a recharging station in Bréhémont. And the community of municipalities has acquired a fleet of H2 Kangoo. To find out more, here is the page on the Touraine Vallée de l’Indre website.

Without minimising the role of the partners and parliamentarians who were able to relay the case, which was wider and therefore more global, it is legitimate to recognise the eminent role played by this community of communes. And in particular by a man who showed a strength of conviction. It takes pioneers to move forward and Alain Esnault is one of them.

*As part of the COSMHYC DEMO project: COmbined Solution of Metal HYdride and mechanical Compressors. Coordinated by Eifer (European Institute for Energy Research, a joint centre of EDF and the Technical University of Karlsruhe in Germany), this project brings together several partners, including the French start-up EIFHYTEC, MAHYTEC (Hensoldt Group) and the Norwegian NEL.

* SIEIL: Syndicat intercommunal d’Energie d’Indre et Loire 

Article written by Laurent Meillaud and translated by Logan King

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About the author

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Marina Leite

As a Brazilian passionate about languages, human rights and environmental issues, I hold a Bachelor's degree in Applied Foreign Languages with a major in International Economic Development. Drawing on my experience as a content creator on social networks, I joined Seiya Consulting and H2 Today in June 2022, first as an intern, then as Marketing & Communications Manager and designer.

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