SEOUL — The South Korean highway operator has begun construction of a fuel cell power generation facility on unused space near a highway interchange. The facility, which will be operational by December 2022, will produce enough electricity to power some 12,000 homes for a year.
Fuel cell generation uses hydrogen extracted from fossil fuels to create electricity and heat. Since the hydrogen-based generation method is not affected by weather conditions, the facility can operate around the clock. The clean energy generation facility also requires less land space compared to solar power generation facilities.
South Korean companies and organizations are using unused space to set up renewable energy sources such as wind farms and solar power generators. Factory rooftops are the most popular locations for solar power generation. In October 2021, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, the state-owned nuclear power plant operator, built a 1.3 megawatt solar power plant on the roof of its headquarters in Gyeongju, about 270 kilometers (167 miles) to the southeast. from Seoul. The rooftop installation can power approximately 10,000 homes per year.
Korea Expressway Corporation (ex) said in a statement on April 4 that the company has partnered with Korea East-West Power, a state-owned power company, to build an 8.1 megawatt fuel cell generation facility. near a freeway interchange in the southern port city of Ulsan. On an unused land of about 8,200 square meters, the public power company will build a hydrogen-based power plant to generate a total of 66 gigawatt hours of electricity per year.
“We will become the pioneer of the energy transition and lower carbon emissions by making a foray into a renewable energy company that uses unused space,” said ex, adding that the motorway operator will produce enough energy. renewable electricity to power all motorway facilities by 2025.
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