General – hydrogen
Grimsby has been chosen as the location for an innovative ‘marinised’ electrolyser project for renewable hydrogen production.
The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) funded OYSTER project will develop and demonstrate an electrolyser system designed to be integrated with offshore wind turbines.
The project will also investigate the potential of using pipelines to transport hydrogen to shore.
Renewable hydrogen is rapidly emerging as a key tool in the green transformation, providing a clear green path forward for many sectors that would otherwise be difficult to decarbonise, such as heavy industry and heavy transport.
Developing offshore hydrogen production, by utilising electrolysers which only require water and renewable electricity to generate renewable hydrogen, further increases this potential by providing a means of transporting low-cost renewable energy from areas of excellent resource to demand centres.
Reaching the EU Hydrogen Strategy target of 40GW of electrolysers by 2030 is expected to require both onshore and offshore electrolysers. The OYSTER project – being undertaken by a consortium of ITM Power, Ørsted, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, and Element Energy – will develop and test a megawatt-scale, fully marinised electrolyser in a shoreside pilot trial, which will be located in Grimsby.
The project will also explore the feasibility and potential of combining an offshore wind turbine directly with an electrolyser and transporting renewable hydrogen to shore. The project is 100% funded by the FCH JU, a public private partnership of the European Commission, who awarded the project EUR 5 million in January 2021
The OYSTER consortium selected Grimsby because of the region’s strong connection to renewable energy, in particular offshore wind. Grimsby is home to the O&M hub for Ørsted’s UK East Coast operations, including Hornsea One and Hornsea Two, which will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm when completed in 2022. Both offshore wind farms use Siemens Gamesa turbines and are fitted with blades manufactured in Hull.
The OYSTER electrolyser system will be designed to be compact, to allow it to be integrated with a single offshore wind turbine, and to follow the turbine’s production profile.
Furthermore, the electrolyser system will integrate desalination and water treatment processes, making it possible to use seawater as a feedstock for the electrolysis process.