London — ITM Power and Orsted will conduct a feasibility study to produce green hydrogen at offshore wind farms in Europe as part of a consortium that has received EU funding, ITM Power said Jan. 8.
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The companies, along with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy and Element Energy, have been awarded Eur5 million ($6 million) by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH2-JU) under the European Commission to "investigate the feasibility and potential of combining an offshore wind turbine directly with an electrolyzer and transporting renewable hydrogen to shore," ITM Power said.
"The consortium will develop and test a megawatt-scale fully marinized electrolyzer in a shore-side pilot trial," it said. The project, named Oyster, is planned to run from this year to the end of 2024.
A compact electrolyzer system will be integrated within a single offshore wind turbine, also integrating desalination and water treatment, allowing use of seawater as a feedstock for electrolysis.
The project is a first step towards developing a commercial low-cost offshore hydrogen production industry, with potential for the technology in Europe and beyond, ITM Power said.
The Oyster project partners suggest that green hydrogen produced from offshore wind could be cost-competitive with natural gas, given a sufficient carbon tax.
ITM Power will develop and trial the electrolyzer system, while offshore wind energy specialist Orsted will analyze the deployment. Siemens Gamesa and Element Energy will provide technical support.
The Oyster project "will allow the development of an offshore-spec electrolyzer for green hydrogen to be generated in the harsh offshore environment," FCH2-JU Executive Director Bart Biebuyck said.
The EU has set a target of reaching 6 GW of renewable hydrogen electrolysis by 2024, rising to at least 40 GW by 2030.