Compagnie Nationale du Rhone SA

Compagnie Nationale du Rhône (CNR) is France’s leading producer of 100% renewable electricity with a total installed capacity of 4GW (3.1 GW of hydro, 735 MW of wind and 135MW of solar). CNR manages the Rhône river with 19 run-of-river multipurpose assets (navigation, irrigation, hydropower generation). It also has strong competencies in ecological restoration of rivers. Besides, CNR carries out missions of general interests to develop the territories. It also innovates to optimise its practices in renewable energies such as hydrogen, battery storage systems and flexibility, floating PV, agriPV and osmotic energy.

Our role in the project

CNR is partner in the Hy2Market project to gain experience and to exchange knowledge about renewable hydrogen production, hydrogen tranport, for industrial and mobility purposes. CNR has the ambition to build an electrolyser located next to CNR’s hydropower plant of Pierre-Bénite (Rhône department) that will supply green electricty to produce renewable hydrogen from water electrolysis with an installed capacity from 5 to 10 MW for the first customers. A pipeline will also need to be built to link the electrolyser to the industrial customers in the Rhône Valley. In the Hy2Market project, CNR will conduct a study to find the optimal deployment plan, including regulatory affairs, for the pipeline network under the Rhône river.

Our impact within our region

CNR is the only French partner in the Hy2Market consortium and it represents the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region. The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region is at the forefront of hydrogen technology in France, both for mobility and for decarbonising the regional industries. The Region has invested €15 millions to develop the hydrogen sector and aims at having 15% of hydrogen production capacity in the territories by 2030. In hydrogen mobility, the aim is to deploy more than 100 heavy-duty vehicules as well as 20 hydrogen filling stations in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. CNR is an actor of the renewable hydrogen sector to meet the needs of industry and mobility in the Rhône Valley thanks to its electrolyser located in Pierre-Bénite (south of the city of Lyon) that will help decarbonising the industries in the Vallée de la Chimie. Thanks to its flexibility and storage capacity, this energy carrier also allows optimising the integration of intermittent electricity into the grid.