The pair have struck a joint development agreement to develop the ‘H2opZee’ scheme in the Dutch North Sea ahead of 2030.
H2opZee is a demonstration project which aims to build between 300 and 500 megawatts (MW) of electrolyser capacity to produce green hydrogen using offshore wind.
The hydrogen will then be transported to land through an existing pipeline, which has a capacity of as much as 12 gigawatts (GW).
By the second quarter of this year Neptune Energy is begin the feasibility study for H2opZee.
The project is an initiative of TKI Wind op Zee, an initiative supported by the Dutch Government bringing people, knowledge and financing together to support the offshore energy transition.
H2opZee consists of two phases, the first of which is a feasibility study that will lead to the creation of an accessible knowledge platform.
The objective is to start the roll-out of hydrogen at sea in the Netherlands.
In the second phase, the project will be implemented.
Neptune Energy’s managing director in the Netherlands, Lex de Groot, said: “We see an important role for green hydrogen in future energy supply, and it can be produced here in the North Sea. The energy transition can be faster, cheaper and cleaner if we integrate existing gas infrastructure into new systems.
“This infrastructure is technically suitable, no new pipeline at sea is needed and no new landfall is required through the coastal area. With the PosHYdon pilot we are one of the leaders in this field of offshore energy system integration and reuse. The lessons learned from this project apply to H2opZee.
“The faster we can scale up green hydrogen at sea, the faster industries such as chemicals and steel production can become more sustainable. With H2opZee, the Netherlands is becoming a world leader in this area. That is why we, together with RWE, are enthusiastic about H2opZee and what it has to offer the Netherlands.”
Sven Utermöhlen, chief executive of offshore wind at RWE Renewables, said: “Hydrogen is a gamechanger in the decarbonisation of energy-intensive sectors and H2opZee is a world first of this kind and scale. With Neptune Energy at our side, we want to develop the H2opZee project to demonstrate how offshore wind can be an ideal partner for the production of green hydrogen at scale and to explore the best way in terms of system integration.
“As RWE, we have a 20-years’ track record in offshore wind and have the hydrogen expertise along the entire value chain under one roof. We are convinced that learnings from the H2opZee demonstration project will help in ramping-up the hydrogen economy in the Netherlands as it presents an important step towards the roll-out of green hydrogen production offshore at large scale.”