Vattenfall to build the world’s first offshore hydrogen cluster in the Netherlands
Earlier this year, Vattenfall received subsidies from the Scottish government to develop the world’s first hydrogen turbine off the coast of Aberdeen.
Vattenfall bids for ‘its’ lot to build the world’s first hydrogen cluster as part of an offshore wind farm in the North Sea.
Three wind turbines will be equipped with electrolysers. The hydrogen they produce will be transported via a pipeline to the Port of Rotterdam and fed into the hydrogen network there. The hydrogen will then be transported to users via a network of pipes – in the same way as with natural gas.
There are various plans for onshore hydrogen plants, but comparatively few for offshore production. According to Catrin Jung, Head of Offshore Wind at Vattenfall, this is a logical development. “Hydrogen production at the source offers clear advantages, not only in financial terms, but because it is practical.”
Jung expects offshore hydrogen production to deliver green hydrogen at competitive prices. In addition, it will ease pressure on the overloaded onshore electricity grids. Hydrogen will become an important part of the energy mix as part of a fossil-free energy supply. This is essential for the ongoing transition to a sustainable energy supply and increasing electrification.
Vattenfall wants to use Hollandse Kust West as a springboard for taking the next step and connecting multiple hydrogen turbines.
In the hydrogen cluster, which consists of three turbines, containers are placed on special platforms. These containers are filled with electrolyser modules, transformers and batteries. When working in tandem, these containers make it possible to convert the generated electricity in the wind turbines into hydrogen. The planned total capacity for the cluster is 45 MW.
The great advantage of hydrogen is that it can be stored. This is the major challenge of solar and wind energy at present: once generated, the energy must be used immediately. Storing this energy requires highly expensive batteries. Instead, green energy can also be converted into hydrogen, which can then be transported and brought into contact with oxygen to generate energy when required. This allows surplus energy to be used and ensures there is a sufficient supply in times of scarcity.