Helen, a leading energy company, has announced plans to construct Helsinki's first green hydrogen production plant in the Vuosaari area, marking a significant step in the company's strategy towards sustainable energy solutions. This pioneering project, known as the Helsinki Hydrogen Hub (3H2), aims to generate three megawatts of green hydrogen, primarily to fuel a new hydrogen refueling station designed for heavy transport vehicles, with additional capacity to supply hydrogen in containers to other customers.

Located near Helsinki's district heating network and the bustling Vuosaari harbor, the facility not only represents Helen's initial venture into hydrogen production but also sets a precedent for integrating renewable energy solutions into the city's infrastructure. The production process is uniquely efficient, with over 90% energy efficiency achieved by repurposing waste heat for the district heating network.

Sari Mannonen, Helen's Director of New Business and Hydrogen, expressed enthusiasm for the project, highlighting its innovative approach to bridging electricity, transportation, heating, and hydrogen sectors. The project, first of its kind globally, signifies a leap towards seamless energy system optimization across various markets, promoting flexibility within the energy system.

With an anticipated start of hydrogen production by 2026 and the refueling station opening in 2027, the project aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over 3,700 tons annually, considering the displacement of fossil fuels in heavy transport and the utilization of waste heat in the district heating network. Financial backing includes an investment support of 8.25 million euros from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment for significant demonstration projects in new energy technology, with an additional 292,500 euros allocated for hydrogen storage and transfer containers from the Environmental Penny fund.

The green hydrogen at the 3H2 facility will be produced entirely from renewable energy sources, ensuring a carbon-neutral process. This initiative aligns with global efforts to reduce emissions from sectors challenging to electrify, like heavy transportation, by offering a sustainable alternative to fossil-fuel-based hydrogen production.

Helen's broader vision extends beyond the Vuosaari pilot plant, with plans for large-scale hydrogen production and exploratory studies for developing an industrial hydrogen valley in Uusimaa, in collaboration with Neste Oyj, Gasgrid Finland Oy, and Vantaan Energia Oy. Committed to achieving carbon-neutral energy production by 2030 and phasing out combustion by 2040, Helen is steadily transitioning towards a sustainable energy system, heavily reliant on wind, solar, hydro, and nuclear power, alongside increasing the use of sustainable bioenergy, waste, and environmental heat in heating production. Hydrogen is poised to play a crucial role in this sustainable energy ecosystem.