New proposals would see the renewable energy developer add green hydrogen production equipment to the Aberdeen offshore wind farm (AOWF), with supplies piped to an onshore site near the city.
Also known as the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC), the wind farm was completed in 2018 and has an installed capacity of 96.8 MW.
The site consists of eleven 8.8-MW turbines and an 8-mile array cable connected to an offshore transformer, which transmits the energy from the site to an onshore substation at Blackdog.
Vattenfall has set out new plans for the scheme in a November environmental screening report submitted to the Scottish government.
Dubbed Hydrogen Turbine 1 (HT1), the proposals aim to demonstrate the feasibility of offshore hydrogen production by installing hydrogen generating equipment on an extended transition piece platform at turbine B06, on the site’s north east side.
The equipment, comprising an electrolyser, desalination facilities and compressors, would be housed in up to seven 40 ft shipping containers mounted on the platform. Desalinated seawater would be used as an input and – assuming maximum capacity from the 8.8-MW turbine – the site could produce up to 0.18 cubic metres of green hydrogen per hour.
Produced hydrogen would then be transferred to shore via an 8” flexible flowline.
Several potential pipeline routes have been identified to both the north and south of the offshore site, though Fugro recently began a contract to carry out a survey for one route between the EOWDC and an onshore site at the north side of Nigg Bay, near the Aberdeen south harbour expansion project.
While the location of the onshore facilities has yet to be finalised, the scoping report suggests a site of up to 0.5 hectares, with storage capacity for up to 4 tonnes of hydrogen, compressed to 200bar. There would also be tanker refuelling facilities for up to four trailers, capable of holding up to 1 tonne of hydrogen each, compressed at up to 500bar.
Vattenfall said “various opportunities for offtake, including transportation, industrial uses and marine operations are currently being considered.”
Vattenfall’s report says the HT1 facility is “envisaged to be operational by 2024/5”, operating for between 8-10 years, which is the expected lifetime of the electrolyser system. EOWDC is currently licensed until July 2043.
When asked, the company said the plans were at an exploratory stage and it could not comment further.
However, in its submission the developer added that the demonstrator project would put Scotland “at the forefront of low-carbon hydrogen production” and help meet national hydrogen targets, as well as international efforts such as the European Union’s intention to reach 40 GW of renewable hydrogen capacity by 2030.
It also bodes well for local decarbonisation efforts, including plans for a £215m green hydrogen production hub in Aberdeen, for which Aberdeen City Council (ACC) picked BP as preferred delivery partner last November.