The NortH2 consortium, consisting of Eneco, RWE, Equinor and Shell is, in partnership with Gasunie, investigating how all aspects of the hydrogen value chain – from production to transmission and storage – can be developed in coordination.
The ambition is to establish a multi-gigawatt wind farm in the North Sea connected to an onshore hydrogen facility from where the hydrogen will be distributed through the European hydrogen backbone to industrial clusters in the Netherlands and Northern Europe. By 2040, the aim is to upscale to 10 GW of installed capacity combining onshore and offshore electrolysis. This would add a production of up to 0.75 million tonnes of green hydrogen annually.
In addition to its plans for the onshore electrolysis plant, the consortium is investigating the feasibility of producing hydrogen offshore and has retained Ramboll to design and describe feasible concepts.
“Projects using onshore rather than offshore electrolysers tend to be less expensive – but as production scales, this might shift. So, it makes perfect sense to investigate this option further”, says Milko Binza Moussirou, Senior Chief Project Manager at Ramboll.
Among the concepts to be considered are electrolysis on an offshore platform and directly at the base of the wind turbines.
Ramboll will be investigating feasible wind farm designs, electrolyser technologies and hydrogen transport and will develop environmental impact assessments, levelized cost of hydrogen calculations, market studies and business cases for each concept.
“When we have completed the study, we will be able to give NortH2 a full overview of their options in terms of the investment required, the most suitable technologies, the impact on their surroundings and a road map for how to integrate the offshore hydrogen production in the market”, says Moussirou.
The feasibility study will be concluded in January 2023 and will provide the background for offshore hydrogen production in the Dutch North Sea in 2030-2035.