Italy’s Enel Green Power and FNM have signed a memorandum of understanding, aiming to examine and identify the best way to supply green hydrogen – produced exclusively using renewable energy – for mobility by rail in Lombardy, as part of the “H2IseO” project, Enel said on February 1.

The agreement, signed by FNM Chairman Andrea Gibelli and Enel Green Power CEO Salvatore Bernabei, foresees the establishment of a joint working group tasked with identifying and proposing the most appropriate solutions. The H2IseO project, promoted by FNM in collaboration with Trenord, will make it possible to create the first Italian “Hydrogen Valley” in Lombardy, particularly in Sebino and Valcamonica. The project’s main objectives are: the purchase of new hydrogen-powered trains, which, from 2023, will run on the non-electrified Brescia-Iseo-Edolo line, managed by FERROVIENORD (a 100% FNM owned company), to replace the current diesel-powered trains; the construction of hydrogen production facilities powered by renewable energy, initially intended for the new trains.

“Thanks to this memorandum of understanding, the Enel Group’s commitment to promote the development of green hydrogen is directed at the non-electrified rail transport sector for the first time,” Bernabei said. “We are constantly seeking to build partnerships to identify the best applications for green hydrogen and thereby contribute to the decarbonization process of our economies,” he added.

For his part, Gibelli explained that one of the most significant features of the guidelines of his company’s new Strategic Plan is mobility with zero environmental impact. “The initiative for the creation of Italy’s first Hydrogen Valley looks to the future and is part of a wider plan that aims to create mobility services developed according to environmental, economic and social sustainability criteria. In the H2IseO project, we also plan to extend the hydrogen solution to road transport by 2025, starting from the approximately 40 vehicles managed in Valle Camonica by FNMAutoservizi (a 100% FNM company). Sebino and Valle Camonica have the right conditions for the use of hydrogen, with the involvement of the whole territory, in a supply chain and circular economy logic. The strong component of innovation that characterizes the H2IseO project, the first example of total decarbonization of local public transport, makes it a candidate to become a model to be replicated in other areas of the country,” the FNM Chairman said.

In the context of the energy transition, hydrogen can make a valuable contribution to the decarbonization of energy-intensive industries such as the chemicals, aviation, maritime and non-electrified rail transport sectors, provided it is produced in a sustainable way, Enel said, noting that Enel Green Power is committed to the implementation and development of projects for the production and use of “green” or “renewable” hydrogen, produced via electrolysis of water powered exclusively by renewable electricity. Enel said the Group has therefore begun to look at new business models that include the offer of green hydrogen for the decarbonization of industrial sectors, with partnerships and projects already under development in Chile, the United States and Italy.


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