Laying of the foundation stone of the hybrid SOFC system at the GWI in Essen


DUISBURG/ESSEN (GERMANY), 2 JULY, 2021 – The Gas- und Wärme-Institut Essen e.V. (GWI) and Mitsubishi Power Europe GmbH celebrate the laying of the foundation stone of the Hybrid-SOFC-System, which is unique in Europe. The demonstration plant is an important step towards a climate-neutral and low-CO2 future and is publicly funded as part of the "Demo Hybrid-SOFC" project of the joint project "KWK.NRW 4.0" under the umbrella of the Virtual Institute | KWK.NRW.

After the GWI commissioned Mitsubishi Power Europe GmbH with the construction of Europe's first hybrid SOFC system in September 2020, planning and initial preparatory work began. On June 1, 2021, construction began as scheduled, and the foundation stone was laid on July 2, 2021. The demonstration unit is expected to be put into operation at the beginning of 2022.

For the city of Essen, as the energy capital of Europe, this lighthouse project is also an important milestone. The hybrid SOFC system will strengthen the local economy, innovations and science. This was made clear in the speech by Thomas Kufen, Lord Mayor of the City of Essen: "Essen is the No. 1 energy location in the region. All areas of the energy sector are represented here: from many small and medium-sized companies to the corporate headquarters of the German 'energy giants'. The GWI operates right in the middle - as an association of Essen companies such as RWE, E.ON, DMT and Stadtwerke Essen. Today, the GWI is laying the foundation stone for the realization of an innovative fuel cell - and this foundation stone is also a milestone in resource-saving energy technology. The first hybrid SOFC system in Europe is being installed here as the result of an excellent research infrastructure provided by the Gas and Heat Institute Essen."

The managing director of the GWI, Dr. Rolf Albus, also pointed out that the GWI with its existing research infrastructure is the right location for the hybrid SOFC system: "The GWI has evolved with the energy transition into a technology-open energy institute and is shaping the energy topics of the future with its members, partners and customers."

Prof. Dr.-Ing Klaus Görner, scientific director of the GWI added: "With this hybrid plant, the GWI underlines its leading position in gas-based energy supply in the sectors of electricity and heat and makes an important contribution to the energy transition in the areas of CHP and sector coupling."

Mitsubishi Power Europe GmbH is acting as general contractor for the project, incorporating the group's own technology. In addition to planning, manufacturing and delivery, Mitsubishi Power is also responsible for connecting the hybrid SOFC system to the GWI's power and heat supply. "We are very pleased to be able to lay the foundation stone for this highly efficient and unique SOFC system together with the Gas- und Wärme-Institut Essen e.V.. In partnership with the GWI, we can explore the flexible operation of the hybrid SOFC system and the proportional use with different fuels - from natural gas to biogas to hydrogen - under real conditions. The demand for clean and sustainable energy sources is growing steadily. In this area in particular, Mitsubishi Power has many years of experience and the most advanced technologies and solutions to successfully support and implement the energy transition," said Markus Brügmann, Head of BU New Business and Sales at Mitsubishi Power.

For the sub-project "Demo Hybrid-SOFC", funds of the Operational Program ERDF NRW 2014-2020 and funds of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia will be provided. The funding is being coordinated by Project Management Jülich on behalf of the Ministry of Economics in cooperation with the Ministries of Culture and Science, Labor, Health and Social Affairs, Environment, Agriculture, Nature and Consumer Protection, and Transport of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Further information is available here:

This project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.


Claudia Wedemann
Mitsubishi Power Europe GmbH
Tel.: +49 203 8038 1368
E-Mail: [email protected]



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Mitsubishi Power is a leading provider and innovator of technology and solutions for the energy sector, who with its predecessor companies have had a presence in the region since 1908. Today, there are more than 1,000 employees across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with centers of excellence in Germany, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, in addition to customer support capabilities in countries across the region. Mitsubishi Power designs, manufactures and maintains equipment and systems that drive decarbonization and ensures the delivery of reliable power. Among its solutions are a wide range of gas turbines, including hydrogen-fuelled gas turbines and solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), and an experienced services business with an extensive reach across the entire region. Committed to providing exemplary service and working with customers, Mitsubishi Power's TOMONI intelligent solutions leverages advanced analytics, adaptive control technology, artificial intelligence and machine learning to make power plants smarter, lowering emissions, increasing flexibility and supporting decarbonization.  Mitsubishi Power is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., whose engineering and manufacturing businesses span energy, infrastructure, transport, aerospace and defence.

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