Vattenfall could be poised to test on-turbine green hydrogen production at its experimental wind farm off Aberdeen, Scotland.
The Swedish group has drawn up plans to fit an electrolyser and associated equipment such as desalination in containerised modules fitted to the transition piece of one of the 11, 8MW-plus Vestas turbines at the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC), with the H2 to be sent ashore via a flowline to an offtake point on land.
“The project offers a unique opportunity to test the viability of offshore production of green hydrogen and help move towards commercial scale operations and the associated positive environmental benefits that come from this,” Vattenfall said in a scoping report submitted to Scottish authorities.
Vattenfall switched on the EOWDC in 2018 after a years-long legal battle with former US President Donald Trump, who objected to the impact of the turbines on views from his luxury golf course.
Offshore production of green H2 is a hot topic in the emerging renewable hydrogen sector, with work underway by the likes of Siemens Gamesa to integrate electrolysis with turbines and several initiatives to site production on platforms taking power from nearby wind arrays.
One of the biggest advantages foreseen is the potential to create self-contained H2 production arrays offshore, with hydrogen rather than electricity shipped ashore – removing the need for costly power infrastructure altogether.
The North Sea off Aberdeen is already home to another green H2 technology initiative in the form of Dolphyn, which eventually hopes to deploy gigawatt-scale green hydrogen production on floating wind platforms off northern Scotland.