German offshore wind to hydrogen project takes off

German offshore wind to hydrogen project takes off

Ørsted and its partners have secured funding for the Westküste 100 renewable hydrogen project in Germany.

Ørsted/Westküste 100

The partners received funding confirmation from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy as the first large-scale hydrogen project in Germany within the Reallabor (real-world laboratory) framework.

The Westküste 100 project aims to research and develop an approach to produce green hydrogen from offshore wind energy and to use the resulting waste heat and oxygen. The purpose of the project is to make industrial processes, aviation, construction, and heating more sustainable in the future.

German Offshore Wind to Hydrogen Project Takes Off
Source: Ørsted/Westküste 100

”Westküste 100 is our third hydrogen project – and the first one in Germany – found eligible for public funding, and we’re very excited about the prospects of supporting heavy industries and heavy transport with clean alternatives based on renewable hydrogen,” Martin Neubert, Executive Vice President and CEO, Ørsted Offshore, said.

The project has a total budget of € 89 million. The approved funding for the project, starting on 1 August 2020, amounts to € 30 million.

A total of ten partners have joined forces to form the consortium: EDF Germany, Holcim Germany, OGE, Ørsted, Raffinerie Heide, Stadtwerke Heide, Thüga, and thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions, together with the Region Heide Development Agency and the Fachhochschule Westküste (West Coast University of Applied Sciences).

“This project is unique because it uses offshore wind power for large-scale hydrogen production. Only offshore wind can provide such a reliable renewable source of green power for the electrolysis,” Volker Malmen, Managing Director, Ørsted in Germany, said.

”This requires that the expansion of renewables and offshore wind power is balanced with the increased demand for hydrogen production. We believe that renewable hydrogen is key to decarbonize industrial sectors. The Westküste 100 project is a cornerstone in our efforts to lead the way in renewable hydrogen as we are doing in offshore wind, to create a world that runs entirely on green energy.”

Phase 1 can now start

With the grant approval from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, the Westküste 100 project can now enter its first phase which includes a number of elements.

A newly founded joint venture, “H2 Westküste GmbH”, consisting of EDF Germany, Ørsted, and the Heide refinery, intends to build a 30-megawatt electrolyser.

This can produce green hydrogen from offshore wind energy and provide information on the operation, maintenance, control, and grid services of the plant.

Furthermore, pipeline transportation of hydrogen and the use of hydrogen in existing and new infrastructure around Heide will be tested.

The consortium will also initiate the work to develop the vision of a large-scale sector coupling including a 700 MW electrolyser system into a concrete project. This will require a significant R&D and engineering effort, the partners said.