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Ørsted and HOFOR enter agreement for groundbreaking hydrogen project

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Avedøre Power Station, where the power from Aflandshage can be brought onshore. Image: Orsted

Ørsted and HOFOR (Greater Copenhagen Utility) have agreed to obtain green energy for a portion of the possible 1.3 GW Green Fuels for Denmark initiative to develop sustainable fuels in the Greater Copenhagen area.

As part of the deal, Ørsted and HOFOR will collaborate to enable Ørsted to purchase power generated from HOFOR’s 250 MW Aflandshage offshore wind farm in the Oresund Strait. Simultaneously, HOFOR has agreed to locate the offshore wind farm’s substation on the grounds of Avedre Power Station.

Ørsted and HOFOR will collaborate to realize technical and commercial synergies between the two projects. The future collaboration and concrete design of the link between the wind farm and the PtX facility are conditional on all regulatory and grid connection requirements being met.

If a framework fostering the development of sustainable fuels is built in Denmark, the power from Aflandshage might enable portions of Green Fuels for Denmark’s second phase of 250 MW and meet the project’s first phase’s power requirements.

Along with Green Fuels for Denmark, the Aflandshage deal might potentially cover the electricity requirements of the electrolysis facility that will feed hydrogen to DFDS’s projected hydrogen-powered ferry between Copenhagen and Oslo, provided the project is realized.

Aflandshage is now under development, and HOFOR anticipates delivering first power in 2024/2025, subject to regulatory permissions. The electricity can be transported onshore at Ørsted’s Avedre Power Station, which is also home to Green Fuels for Denmark.

Anders Nordstrøm, Head of Ørsted’s hydrogen activities, says:

“The European ambitions for renewable hydrogen and sustainable fuels have increased dramatically over the past year, mainly outside of Denmark, but as a country, we can still play a significant role in this part of the global green transformation. Green Fuels for Denmark is a large-scale flagship project ideally suited to realising Denmark’s great potential as a producer of sustainable fuels for heavy transport. The agreement with HOFOR underlines the partnership’s firm belief that Green Fuels for Denmark can contribute significantly to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and create a new industrial stronghold for Denmark.”

Jan Kauffmann, CFO of HOFOR, agrees. He emphasizes that HOFOR’s defining characteristics have been widespread collaboration on the green energy of the future and visionary sectoral coupling.

“If we’re to succeed with the green transformation of our combined energy supply, it’s important that major Danish players work together on shared solutions. Not least when it makes a lot of sense for both parties. That’s why we also see great potential in this long-term agreement,” Jan Kauffmann says, continuing:

“In my view, the next step will be to investigate how the excess heat generated by Power-to-X production can be incorporated into the heating system in the Greater Copenhagen area. At HOFOR, we see a strong possibility for creating a stable supply of district heating at a competitive price. Our district heating system needs this, and at the same time, we enter into a cooperation with the largest possible impact on our climate targets.”

Renewable hydrogen and sustainable fuels have huge promise and have the ability to dramatically reduce carbon emissions from the heavy transport sector. Producing sustainable fuels is more expensive than producing fossil-fuel-based fuels.

To bring the price down, sustainable fuel production must mature and be scaled up industrially, and prices must be decreased – just as we have seen with renewable energy technologies such as offshore wind, onshore wind, and solar PV over the last decade. To make this a reality, the industry must collaborate with governments to establish a system that rewards private investment in large-scale sustainable fuel production.

Nedim Husomanovic

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