Three weeks ago I had talked about the Brenner Pass A22 in Italy becoming a corridor for hydrogen fueling stations. Now it has been publicized that Acta S.p.A. has signed an exclusive supply agreement with Girelli Bruni S.p.A., “…for the supply of photovoltaic installations and integrated hydrogen generators for the Italian service station sector.”
According to the press release, “Under the Framework Agreement, signed on 19 July 2010, Acta will be the exclusive supplier of photovoltaic installations to Girelli Bruni, which supplies forecourt installations in Italy for major brands such as Agip, Esso, Shell, Total, ERG, Repsol and Auchan. Girelli Bruni will also be the exclusive distributor of Acta’s hydrogen generators for the fuel supply sector in Italy.
“Based on Acta’s proprietary catalytic and hydrogen conversion technologies, these generators can be safely integrated with the photovoltaic installations to produce clean, dry and compressed hydrogen. Girelli Bruni completed more than 170 forecourt installation projects during 2009, of which the majority also requested the installation of photovoltaic capacity.”
Because of regional progressive environmental laws in Italy, the fueling station sector is expected to offset each new petroleum based fueling station with the use of photovoltaic energy plus alternative gaseous fuels such as hydrogen, methane or LPG.
The ACTA / Girelli Bruni hydrogen fueling stations will fit within these requirements. As of September 2008, Italy had 5 hydrogen refueling stations within the country. This number is expected to increase dramatically within the next 3 to 5 years as part of the overall build out of the European Hydrogen Highway system.
With the two latest developments, the Italian Hydrogen Highway is fast becoming its own entity. By joining forces with Germany and Norway (plus a little help from either Austria or Switzerland) there could be a formidable hydrogen corridor north to south from Oslo, Norway down to the southern tip of the Italian peninsula covering approximately 1,200 miles (pictured above).