Skip to main content
RISE logo

Eco Edge Prime Power

Further digitalization of society over the next decade demands infrastructure that is closer to the consumer as the shift in consumption requires data services at the edge of the digital networks. The key to meeting this demand is to rollout digital infrastructure that penetrates urban areas in support of this digital future.

The problems associated with powering urban data centers hinges on the challenges of electrical power distribution within cities. This project aims to address these problems by creating a proof of concept (POC) alternative prime power source that employs fuel cell technologies for on-site power generation, which are efficient, quiet, showing reduced environmental impact and negligible demand on the electrical grid. Fuel cells have been around since the Apollo space program and can operate on different fuels like natural gas, hydrogen and propane (LPG). Fuel cells are electrochemical energy converters with efficiencies that exceed conventional power plants, already at small scale. The concept of connecting fuel cells to gas networks to power resilient urban and edge data centres overcomes the need to have backup generation in such areas, thus reducing the emissions and noise impact.

The main objectives of the proposed project are to:

  • Define the fuel cell prime power concept for data centres.
  • Create an authoritative open standard for fuel cell adaption to power data centres.
  • Demonstrate and validate a POC fuel cell based prime power module for data centres.
  • Collect extensive operational data from running fuel cells as prime power for data centres.
  • Analyse the combined social, environmental and commercial impact for the European market.
  • Evaluate opportunities for improved energy efficiency and waste heat recovery.

The project strongly anticipates opportunities for the European fuel cell suppliers to increase their uptake across multiple markets with improved energy efficiency and cost effectiveness


Project name




RISE role in project


Project start


3,5 years

Total budget

25 000 000


SOLIDpower, Tec4Fuels, Snam, Equinix, InfraPrime, Vertiv


The Clean Hydrogen Partnership, from the Horizon 2020 program of the European Commission

Project website


Project members