Vattenfall to build hydrogen cluster at Hollandse Kust (west) offshore wind farm

Vattenfall intends to construct the world’s first hydrogen cluster as part of the Hollandse Kust (west) offshore wind farm, for which the company is bidding on lot VII, with results expected in autumn.

Electrolyzers will be installed on three wind turbines. The hydrogen produced will be piped to the Port of Rotterdam and fed into the hydrogen network there. The hydrogen will then be delivered to users via a network of pipes, much like natural gas.

There are several plans for onshore hydrogen plants, but few for offshore production. This is a logical progression, according to Catrin Jung, Head of Offshore Wind at Vattenfall. “Hydrogen production at the source offers clear advantages, not only in financial terms, but because it is practical.” Jung anticipates that offshore hydrogen production will provide green hydrogen at competitive prices. Furthermore, it will relieve strain on the overburdened onshore power grids. As part of a fossil-free energy supply, hydrogen will become an important part of the energy mix. This is critical for the ongoing transition to a more sustainable energy supply and greater electrification.

Self-sufficient hydrogen turbines

Vattenfall received funding from the Scottish government earlier this year to build the world’s first hydrogen turbine off the coast of Aberdeen. Vattenfall intends to use Hollandse Kust (west) as a launching pad for connecting multiple hydrogen turbines.

Containers are placed on special platforms in the hydrogen cluster, which consists of three turbines. Electrolyser modules, transformers, and batteries are housed in these containers. When these containers work together, they can convert the electricity generated by wind turbines into hydrogen. The cluster’s total capacity is set to be 45 MW.

Hydrogen is a gas that can be converted to electricity without emitting CO2 and is used in industries where emissions are difficult to reduce, not least due to the use of high temperatures. Electrolysis, a process in which water is energized, can be used to separate oxygen from hydrogen. When hydrogen comes into contact with oxygen again, energy is released. And all of this is done with no emissions; the only byproduct is water.

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Image source: Vattenfall

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