Dijon: the creation of a hydrogen production and distribution unit in a 'short circuit'

Dijon, a finalist in the "2022 Green European capital" competition which has been awarded the “Cit’ergie” label, is developing green mobility by increasing the use of renewable energies within the metropolitan area. The local authority has launched the creation of a unit for the production of hydrogen by electrolysis using “green” electricity generated by a household waste incineration plant.

The launch of the Dijon Metropole’s hydrogen production and distribution unit is the latest in a series of initiatives in favour of soft mobility and urban ecology. Other initiatives include the development of soft modes of transport (a tram network, hybrid buses and bicycles), pedestrianised areas and a municipal heating network and projects to preserve biodiversity and pollinating insects. 

Hydrogen combines all the assets to meet the challenge of the energy transition. It emits only water and generates no noise, no greenhouse gases and no particles. Consequently, Dijon Métropole has come up with a short-circuit system for the local production of hydrogen from renewable sources. The gas will be produced through the electrolysis of water at a plant that will be built close to the city's waste incineration plant. It will mainly be produced using “green” electricity derived from the waste incineration plant’s turbine-generator unit with supplementary needs provided by the photovoltaic solar farm or other locally-produced renewable electricity sources. 

The electrolyser will initially supply 500 kg of hydrogen per day. It will power the fuel cells of the hydrogen electric vehicles making up the city's fleet of eight household refuse collectors and six light utility vehicles; the aim is to use this technology in buses the next time the fleet is replaced. Ultimately, the plant will provide the means to charge all types of hydrogen electric vehicles across the region for both companies and individuals. 

The creation of this plant is being managed by Dijon Métropole and Rougeot Energie within the framework of Dijon Métropole Smart Energy (DMSE), a limited company. Created in application of the provisions of article L.2253-1 of France's labour code, the local authority and Rougeot Energie have formed a limited company in order to produce and supply renewable energy using facilities located across the urban area.

DMSE will work alongside Keolis, a company involved in developing shared mobility solutions that is committed to the energy transition, and Hynamics, a subsidiary of the EDF group. The Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region has adopted an ambitious hydrogen plan which establishes production and distribution of the gas as a priority for successfully implementing the vital energy transition. As such, it will support the creation of Dijon Metropole's production, distribution and storage plant. 


  • The production plant is scheduled to enter service in summer 2021. 
  • In 2022: 1,750 tonnes of CO2 will be saved per year – equivalent to 700 return trips from Paris to New York

Rapid charging times

  • Heavy vehicles: between 10 and 15 minutes
  • Light vehicles: between 3 and 5 minutes