German utility RWE became the latest power company to announce its bid in the 1.5GW Hollandse Kust West (HKW) offshore wind tender off the Netherlands, pledging to match part of the giant array with a large electrolyser for green hydrogen production and what it claims are “unique concepts” to deliver a positive impact on biodiversity.

“Our design proposal for HKW VI integrates innovations to build and operate the wind farm in harmony with the North Sea ecosystem,” said Sven Utermöhlen, chief executive for offshore wind at RWE Renewables.

“To foster local research and businesses, we will also invest in a comprehensive R&D programme on offshore wind with leading partners from the Netherlands.

“To unlock full system integration of offshore wind farms, our concept for HKW VII demonstrates a perfect match of supply and demand through combining offshore wind with 600MW electrolyser capacity for green hydrogen production, and other flexible demand solutions like e-boilers and battery storage.”

French oil supermajor TotalEnergies and offshore wind pacesetter Orsted last week had already announced a joint bid that includes the construction of a 600MW electrolyser, while rival BP promised 500MW of electrolysis in Rotterdam if it is successful with its bid.

A decision about the winners for the offshore wind zone at some 53 kilometres off the Dutch coast is expected after the summer.

The zero subsidy tender also includes qualitative criteria. While bidders for the HKW VI need to include ecological measures in their development concept, for HKW VII, they must include investment and innovation that favours the Dutch energy system.

HKW forms part of an ambitious drive to boost the Netherlands’ offshore wind capacity to 21GW by 2030, up from 3GW at the end of last year.

RWE had earlier announced plans to provide chemicals giant BASF with power from a future, yet undefined, 2GW offshore wind farm to decarbonise its production and also enable a CO2-free production of hydrogen there. BASF itself has also teamed up with Swedish utility Vattenfall for a joint bid at HKW, which has stirred the interest of a crowded field of bidders or bidding consortia also including SSE/Brookfield, and Shell/Eneco.

RWE said its electrolyser plan linked to HKW VII is a blueprint for the perfect integration is a blueprint for the integration of offshore wind farms into the Dutch energy system. The 600MW facility is planned to provide green H2 to existing partners and new customers within Dutch industry. The company also intends to integrate e-boilers for heating, battery storage and charging solutions for electric vehicles.