Denmark designates Siemens Gamesa’s wind-to-hydrogen project site as test zone
Danish government has designated Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy’s wind-to-hydrogen pilot project currently under development nearby the company’s Danish headquarters in Brande as an official regulatory energy test zone.
The test zone permit gives Siemens Gamesa dispensation from electricity regulations in order to test its potential future application for both onshore and offshore wind.
The project, called Brande Hydrogen, is the first pilot project in the world to connect a wind turbine to an electrolyser with the ability to operate in ‘island mode’, i.e. driving an electrolysis rig with no link to an electricity grid, according to Siemens Gamesa. It couples an existing onshore 3 MW wind turbine with a Green Hydrogen Systems electrolyser stack to produce green hydrogen, which is then distributed by Danish company Everfuel to power Copenhagen’s fuel cell taxi fleet.
“With the historic decision by the Danish government to grant Brande Brint a regulatory test-zone, we can now research how to develop an island-mode capable system of offshore hydrogen production at turbine level. The end-goal is to have each individual turbine-electrolyzer system to be capable of producing hydrogen independently of a grid connection”, said Poul Skjærbæk, Chief Innovation and Product Officer, Siemens Gamesa.
Siemens Gamesa is also using the project to explore whether integrating new battery technology as an upgrade to the co-located turbine and electrolyser can contribute to grid stability and help address issues around the variability of wind.
The battery, turbine and electrolyser setup has the potential to enable the production of industrial-scale volumes of green hydrogen in the near-term, and innovations and learnings from the test site will be utilised to build use cases for larger-scale green hydrogen production.
Along with Siemens Gamesa, the government has also givent the regulatory test zone permit to the clean energy industrial cluster GreenLab.
Siemens Gamesa, together with Siemens Energy, is already working on developing a solution that fully integrates an electrolyser into an offshore wind turbine as a single synchronised system to directly produce green hydrogen. For this, Siemens Gamesa will adapt its development of SG 14-222 DD – the world’s most powerful offshore wind turbine – to integrate an electrolysis system seamlessly into the turbine’s operations.
The wind turbine manufacturer is also involved in a project with Ørsted that focuses on a system combining a single offshore wind turbine and an electrolyser and transporting green hydrogen to shore, and is part of the consortium behind a 10 GW AquaVentus offshore wind-to-hydrogen project in Germany.
In its latest interim results, the company highlighted opportunities in the green hydrogen industry as its potential reinforces the massive wind energy capacity to be installed over the next decade and beyond, including a sharp increase in offshore wind installations from 2024 onwards. Siemens Gamesa said it was taking firm steps to play a leading role in this new market development.