HYGO, the renewable hydrogen production project on the Michelin site in Vannes has been launched4 min de lecture

On January 25th, in Vannes, a project contract was signed for the construction of a hydrogen station on the site of the Michelin factory. At the crossroads between industry and mobility, this local hydrogen production project aims to provide solutions for the challenges of the transition towards carbon neutrality in Southern Brittany. The Vannes power station (the first in Brittany) will supply the needs of the factory as well as making power available to public vehicles.

The signing of the Design, Construction, Operation and Maintenance contract on January 25th, marks the launch of the project

The contract for design, construction, operation and maintenance was signed in January, marking the official launch of construction of this green hydrogen installation which will power the Michelin site and the vehicle charging station for the residents of Vannes (56). The cost is 4.9 million euro, funded in part by Michelin, but also with a participation from ADEME for 1.7 million euro. This station will be built and run by Engie Solutions via the Hygo company, in which SEM 56 Energies is a stakeholder. The contract was signed in the presence of: Jo Brohan, President of Morbihan Énergies and SEM 56 Énergies, and Julien Chauvet, Hydrogen director France for ENGIE Solutions and president of HYGO, Johan Cordonnier, Director of the Michelin site in Vannes, André Crocq, Regional councillor for Brittany in charge of the Energy transition and David Robo, the Lord Mayor of Vannes.

The ADEME and the Brittany region will also support future buyers of hydrogen vehicles using the charging station as part of a global budget of €992K for ADEME and €500K from the region.

Operational in October 2021

Construction work will begin in June 2021 with the station due to be operational in October. The electrolyser which will supply this station will be able to produce 300 kilos of hydrogen per day, 70 of which will be used by Michelin. The ADEME intends to provide financial aid to future buyers of hydrogen vehicles. This station project was chosen in the Territoire d’Innovation’s call for projects.

With the support of ADEME and the Brittany region, the aim is to produce green hydrogen through the electrolysis of water from renewable electricity:

  • For the industrial requirements of Michelin, fully committed to the process, and using hydrogen for their thermal treatment process.
  • To power a public green hydrogen distribution station for light and heavy vehicles.

Technical presentation of the project

This demonstrator consists in the production of Hydrogen from renewable energies and then using the resulting compressed gas for carbon free mobility. The idea is to supply a new generation of vehicles running on a hydrogen fuel cell (cells producing electricity continuously and no longer requiring batteries).

A first electrolyser, primarily supplied by the photovoltaic panels and fuelling hydrogen vehicles, was installed in June 2017 on the carpark of the Morbihan Énergies syndicate (project sponsor) in Vannes. It fuels the first Breton hydrogen vehicle purchased for the occasion.

Project objectives

  • Energy related: storage of energy from renewable origins and improvement of its use across the territory
  • Environmental: decarbonising industrial uses (-210T CO2 per year for Michelin’s hydrogen use alone) and through the development of a “zero emission” mobility fleet
  • Educating citizens on hydrogen uses
  • Economic through the demonstration of the technical and economic feasibility of the project on an industrial scale

Location: Vannes (56)

Launch date: 8th, September 2016

Fields of application

  • Storage of renewable productions using hydrogen.
  • Development and promotion of hydrogen powered mobility.
  • Promotion of the hydrogen industry among the general public.

Project sponsors

  • Morbihan Energies
  • Engie
  • Hygo


  • Michelin
  • Brittany region
  • Banque des Territoires

Key project dates and figures

  • June 2021: building work begins
  • 5 months of work
  • 9 million euro invested
  • €1763K support from ADEME
  • €500K support from the Brittany region
  • Project selected in the National Territoire d’Innovation call for projects

Support from BDI through the SMILE programme

BDI supported the development of this project through the SMILE programme. The HYGO project has SMILE certification and is showcased in the SMILE showroom situated 64 bd Voltaire in Rennes and 16 allée des Tanneurs in Nantes (the showroom can be visited by sending a request to the association).

The point of contact for this project for Brittany is Philippe des Robert (contact details below).


Renewable hydrogen coordination :
Philippe des Robert