Source Energie Plans Floating Wind-to-Hydrogen Farm Off Wales


Published Mar 23, 2022 9:09 PM by The Maritime Executive

A new entrant in the offshore wind arena, Source Energie, is promoting a plan to deploy floating wind turbines with onboard hydrogen electrolysis plants off the coast of Wales. Each turbine platform would be a miniature green hydrogen production plant, with each one connected to a pipeline network to carry the H2 fuel back to shore. 

The project proposal is based on the ERM Dolphyn system, a platform design that combines wind power, desalination, electrolysis, and hydrogen production on one floating platform. It was developed by consultancy ERM with support from the governments of the UK, Scotland and Wales. The hydrogen produced by ERM Dolphyn is piped ashore, where it can be used for power generation, transport fuel, industrial use or heating. 

The first project site is located about 30 nautical miles west of Milford Haven. The partners say that the location has high wind speeds averaging above 19 knots, several possible pipeline routes to areas with demand for hydrogen, and extra room to grow. 

Source Energie and ERM are engaged in a consultation process with the government of Wales, which has large-scale plans for floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea. The project has the support of the Welsh Government Smart Living Initiative's hydrogen program, and f all goes as planned, the site will come online in 2027-28. 

Future expansion could provide more than 2GW of energy, which would provide enough hydrogen to make a "material impact" on the UK's decarbonization targets, the partners said. 

The Welsh Government has also funded two studies to explore the suitability of the Celtic Sea for combined floating wind and hydrogen production. The final report on the second study is expected soon.