Ramboll in collaboration with Gasunie, the NortH2 consortium, which is made up of Eneco, RWE, Equinor, and Shell, is looking into how all facets of the hydrogen value chain, from production to transport and storage, may be developed in concert.
The goal is to build a multi-gigawatt wind farm in the North Sea that is connected to an onshore hydrogen facility, from which the hydrogen will be transported to industrial clusters in the Netherlands and Northern Europe via the European hydrogen backbone. A combined installed capacity of 10 GW for onshore and offshore electrolysis is the goal by 2040. This might increase yearly green hydrogen production by up to 0.75 million tonnes.
The partnership is looking into the viability of producing hydrogen offshore in addition to its plans for the on-site electrolysis facility and has hired Ramboll to design and outline workable possibilities.
“Projects utilizing onshore as opposed to offshore electrolyzers tend to be less expensive, however, this could change as production scales. Therefore, further research into this possibility makes total sense, according to Milko Binza Moussirou, senior chief project manager at Ramboll.
Electrolysis on an offshore platform and right at the foot of the wind turbines are two ideas to take into consideration.
Ramboll will research workable wind farm layouts, electrolyzer technologies, and hydrogen transport, and will create environmental impact analyses, Levelized cost of hydrogen computations, market analyses, and business cases for each option.
When the study is complete, Moussirou says, “we will be able to provide NortH2 with a detailed overview of their alternatives in terms of the investment necessary, the best technologies, the influence on their surroundings, and a road plan for how to integrate the offshore hydrogen production in the market.”
The feasibility study’s results, which will serve as the backdrop for offshore hydrogen production in the Dutch North Sea in 2030–2035, will be released in January 2023.