Published on 03/06/2020

Centre R&D Lhyfe

Producer and supplier of green hydrogen invests € 8.3 million in R&D.

Lhyfe, a producer and supplier of green hydrogen, is one of the fortunate few selected by Bpifrance to receive support from its Deeptech fund which accompanies innovations with a strong technological component. In addition to the € 2.8 million already invested for the set-up of its R&D centre in Vendée (thanks in particular to the strong backing of the Challans-Gois Urban Community within which the site is based), Lhyfe plans to invest € 5.5 million in research and development over the next three years. Bpifrance will cover half of Lhyfe’s new investment which is perfectly consistent with the European Green Deal’s implementation. This shows that this green plan must now involve Lhyfe, which de facto becomes one of the front-line players for ensuring an environmentally friendly focused Europe.

Recognition for an ambitious technological challenge

Lhyfe is the first industrial-scale hydrogen production site in the world to connect itself directly to intermittent renewable energy sources. Lhyfe’s goal is to provide an energy model with a positive environmental footprint, providing access to green hydrogen as widely as possible. The project represents a major technological challenge requiring considerable investment in R&D.

The selection of the Lhyfe project by Bpifrance for funding confirms that the company meets the strict requirements of its Génération Deeptech programme which accompanies innovations with a strong technological component:

  • Lhyfe technology is developed in close association with researchers and the scientific world. Five of the current team members come from the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), including Lhyfe’s founder and CEO, Matthieu Guesné, who was formerly head of CEA Tech Pays de Loire.
  • The project faces strong barriers to entry, materialized by technological obstacles that are difficult to remove; no electrolyser has ever been directly connected to an intermittent renewable energy source and no project has until today managed to show the cost-effectiveness of this mode of production. This project therefore involves the development of specific technological bricks allowing direct connection and an optimized production process with the aim of reducing the production price of hydrogen.
  • The Lhyfe solution offers a strong differentiating advantage over the competition; it paves the way for a fully carbon-free hydrogen market, with hydrogen produced today on land and tomorrow at sea, promoting a positive environmental footprint and a sustainable economy
  • Finally, Lhyfe’s technology is characterized by a slow and complex go-to-market and is thus capital-intensive; the company has already committed € 8.3 million in R&D for the 2020-2022 period.

Investment of € 8.3 million in R&D

To implement its strategy, Lhyfe has already planned to invest € 8.3 million in R&D between 2020 and 2022.

For the construction of its R&D centre in Bouin, Vendée (€ 2.8 million), which will be complete in early 2021, Lhyfe received support from the Challans-Gois Urban Community.

The additional € 5.5 million to be invested in R&D over the next three years will be used in particular to forge partnerships with French and international scientific organizations, including the CEA. Bpifrance will cover half of this investment.

 

We are very honoured to be among those chosen for Deeptech funding from Bpifrance. This funding is tremendous recognition for the technological ambitions of our project. This technological challenge is on a level with the environmental challenge that we face. We are proud to be addressing these two challenges which are core issues for society today.
Matthieu Guesné, founder and CEO, Lhyfe