Orsted pledged to link offshore wind to green hydrogen as it joined an already crowded field of heavyweights in a zero-subsidy tender for the Netherlands' 750MW Hollandse Kust South 3&4 zone.

The Danish utility said it will submit a bid for the area in the North Sea and has already taken a final investment decision on the project, with hydrogen production and storage from its Dutch wind farms now part of its plans.

Green hydrogen produced from renewable power generation has long been seen as a potential option for storing excess output, and spreading its use to other sectors such as heating and transportation. A report this week said its use would be "widespread" by the middle of the century.

"Using offshore wind to produce green hydrogen from electrolysis is an enabler to decarbonise other sectors such as heavy industries and transport," said CEO Henrik Poulsen.

"Production and sale of green hydrogen to large industrial customers can help stabilise revenues from offshore wind farms which rely on the market price of power like Holland Coast South 3&4 will. We are ready to scale-up and bring down costs of green hydrogen like we have done with offshore wind," said Poulsen.

Oil and gas giant Shell earlier this week said it will also bid in the Dutch tender, together with utility Eneco and contractor Van Oord. Swedish utility Vattenfall last months confirmed it will bid after revealing to Recharge in September 2018 that it was preparing to participate in the tender, which has a deadline of this week.

"We're strongly committed to the Netherlands, and we believe that our bid for Holland Coast South 3&4 offers significant benefits for the Dutch society in terms of clean and cost-competitive energy as well as industrial development," Poulsen said.

"By bringing our more than 25 years of experience in developing, constructing and operating offshore wind farms, we are a highly reliable partner for the Dutch government in taking the next step towards reaching the Netherlands' ambitious target of 11.5GW offshore wind by 2030."

Orsted in 2016 had won a tender for the 752MW Borssele 1&2 project, which will be the largest offshore array in the Netherlands when completed in late 2020 or early 2021.

"We're progressing very well with Borssele 1&2. Working on the Netherlands' largest offshore wind farm has given us valuable insights and experience which we will leverage on Holland Coast South 3&4,” said Martin Neubert, the CEO of Orsted Offshore.

"As a strong sign of our commitment, the board of directors of Orsted has already approved the final investment decision for Holland Coast South 3&4 [Hollandse Kust South 3&4]. The funding is secured and guaranteed on our balance sheet, so if the Dutch government selects Orsted, they can be certain that the wind farm will be built."