Tech companies join forces to develop offshore hydrogen factory

Offshore hydrogen factory

Norwegian companies Arendals Fossekompani, Kongsberg, and Moreld, have joined forces to develop a combined offshore substation and hydrogen factory.

The project, named Hydepoint, hopes to contribute to solving several challenges related to the development and upscaling of offshore wind power.

“Hydepoint is a complete solution for receiving, converting, and transmitting the full energy potential from offshore wind farms, with reduced dependence on the onshore power grid. Placed in the ocean, close to wind farms, Hydepoint can convert all or part of the energy into hydrogen. This will reduce the need for upscaling the power grid both to and on land,” explains Morten Henriksen, executive vice president at Arendals Fossekompani.

Demand for hydrogen produced from renewable energy is rapidly increasing. The utilisation of offshore wind resources is also growing, and offshore wind is already an important source of new renewable energy globally. Further development of offshore wind, including the upcoming licensing round in Norway, will require significant strengthening of the power grid. Partial or full conversion of the energy to hydrogen has the potential to reduce the need for grid investments and effectively increase the production of hydrogen.

“Demand for hydrogen is already significant and expected to grow further. Hydrogen is utilised directly in several industries and will also be used for the production of alternative energy carriers, such as ammonia and synthetic LNG. Green hydrogen, which is hydrogen produced based on renewable energy, will replace gray hydrogen, which is based on natural gas. This will have a positive environmental effect both short-term and long-term,” added Henriksen.

One of the challenges associated with wind power is variable production, from day to day and hour to hour. With an increased share of offshore wind in the energy mix, production is at some point likely to exceed the need or capacity of the transmission lines to land, and also the onshore power grid.

“Kongsberg already has significant activities in offshore wind, offering solutions that enable efficient development and operation of offshore wind. For offshore wind to work in complex energy systems, it is crucial to ensure attractive and robust solutions for energy conversion, storage, and management. Hydepoint contributes to solving these challenges by allowing surplus power to be converted directly to hydrogen offshore. Hydrogen can be stored, transported, and used alternatively,” said Geir Håøy, CEO of Kongsberg.

Hydepoint is based on the development and qualification of standardised and scalable solutions. It is hoped that the project will contribute to reduced costs in the global large-scale build-up of offshore wind that is planned over the next 20 to 30 years.

“There is a great potential for reducing costs through solutions that can be industrialised, standardised, and built-in large numbers. Hydepoint will offer fully developed substations where both costs and delivery time are significantly reduced,” said Geir Austigard, CEO of Moreld.

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