Grenoble, France --- (METERING.COM) --- July 25, 2012 - The INGRID project, a major research, development and demonstration of grid connected renewable energy storage, has successfully kicked off, project consortium member McPhy Energy has announced.

The 4-year project has an overall budget of €23.9 million, of which €13.8 million is being funded by the European Commission through the Seventh Framework Program for European Research and Innovation.

Consortium members include Engineering Ingegneria Informatica, the largest privately owned Italian ICT technology provider, which is coordinating the project, Agenzia per la tecnologia e l'Innovazione, the operational arm of Puglia regional authority for innovation and technology transfer, Enel Distribuzione, Italy's largest electricity distribution company, Hydrogenics, a Belgian provider of hydrogen generators, McPhy Energy, a French solid state hydrogen storage developer, and the research institutions Ricerca sul Sistema Energetico (RSE, Italy) and distribution and TECNALIA (Spain).

The core innovation of the INGRID project will consist of combining solid state high density hydrogen storage systems and electrolysis with advanced ICT technologies for smart distribution grid monitoring and control in a scenario of high penetration of renewable energy sources in order to balance power supply and demand.

The consortium will design, build, deploy and operate a 39 MWh energy storage facility using McPhy’s hydrogen-based solid state storage and Hydrogenics’ electrolysis technology and fuel cell power systems in the Puglia region in Italy, where over 3,500 MW of solar, wind, and biomass generation is already installed. The hydrogen energy storage installation, with more than 1 ton of stored hydrogen – the largest ever built – including a novel fast responding 1.2 MW hydrogen generator, will provide effective and smart balancing support for the local grid managed by Enel Distribuzione.

Several potential value streams for the generated carbon-neutral hydrogen will be investigated.