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First Pilot Project Funded for Hydrogen Producing Offshore Wind Farm

demonstration hydrogen production at offshore wind farm
Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm will demonstrate hydrogen production (Port of Aberdeen)

Published May 19, 2022 5:09 PM by The Maritime Executive

Work is underway on a pilot project to launch the world’s first hydrogen-producing offshore wind turbine, with the UK government announcing a grant to support the project. The goal is to be the first project in the world to test the full integration of hydrogen production with an offshore wind turbine.

“Placing hydrogen electrolyzers on offshore wind turbines is likely to be the quickest and cheapest way of providing fossil-free hydrogen at the scale needed to reduce emissions from heavy industries such as steel and chemicals,” said Danielle Lane, UK Country Manager for Vattenfall, which operates the wind farm where the test will be launched. “The HT1 project will focus on overcoming barriers, in the real-world environment of an operational offshore wind farm.”

Vattenfall has been awarded approximately $11.6 million from a fund managed by the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The project will test the full integration of a hydrogen electrolyze with an offshore wind turbine for the first time, to examine its real-time response to a variable power source. It will also look at how fossil-free hydrogen can be produced safely at low cost, and what needs to be done to speed up the regulatory process and enable large-scale commercial production more quickly.

The pilot project will be located at Vattenfall’s Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm and will have an output of 8 MW and be able to produce enough hydrogen every day to power a hydrogen bus to travel 15,000 miles. The hydrogen will be piped to shore at the Port of Aberdeen.

“This is a great development for the production and onshore use of green hydrogen,” said Bob Sanguinetti, Chief Executive for the Port of Aberdeen. This project will reinforce Aberdeen’s reputation as a leader for clean hydrogen production. Our port infrastructure and facilities, combined with our strategic proximity to North Sea assets and supply chain, make us a port of choice for the future.”

The Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm, which is located about 1.8 miles off the coast of Scotland in the North Sea also serves as the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre, with support from the European Union. The site, which consists of 11 Vestas 8.8 megawatt wind turbines is an offshore wind test and demonstration facility. The project started producing electricity in July 2018.

In addition to providing the location to test the first full integration of hydrogen production with an offshore wind turbine, the HT1 project will also map out development and consent processes for large-scale hydrogen projects co-located with offshore wind farms to speed up future development

Work on the project has commenced, with the goal of first production as early as 2025.