Vattenfall reveals offshore hydrogen plans forming part of Dutch wind farm bid

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: 05/07/2022 Vattenfall

Vattenfall has revealed that its bid to build the Hollandse Kust West (HKW)
VII offshore wind site includes plans to build a hydrogen cluster in the Netherlands. HKW is located approximately 53 kilometres off the country’s west coast and contains two wind farm sites, with a total area of 176 square kilometres.

Bid manager Daan van Eijkel helped prepare Vattenfall's bid for HKW
VI. If Vattenfall wins the tender for 'its’ lot, the company outlined that it plans to build the world’s first hydrogen cluster as part of an offshore wind farm there. Three wind turbines will be equipped with electrolysers. The hydrogen they produce will be transported via a pipeline to the Port of Rotterdam and fed into the hydrogen network there. The hydrogen will then be transported to users via a network of pipes – in the same way as with natural gas.  

There are various plans for onshore hydrogen plants, but comparatively few for offshore production. According to Catrin Jung, Head of Offshore Wind at Vattenfall, this is a logical development. Jung stated: “Hydrogen production at the source offers clear advantages, not only in financial terms, but because it is practical.”
Earlier this year, Vattenfall received subsidies from the Scottish government to develop the world’s first hydrogen turbine at its
European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC), off the coast of Aberdeen. Vattenfall wants to use HKW as a springboard for taking the next step and connecting multiple hydrogen turbines.

Jung said: "Hydrogen is set to play an important role in the future. The experience we gain in Scotland through offshore production can be applied on a larger scale at Hollandse Kust West. This makes the wind farm an important next step towards hydrogen production on a commercial scale."

In the hydrogen cluster, which consists of three turbines, containers are placed on special platforms. These containers are filled with electrolyser modules, transformers and batteries. When working in tandem, these containers make it possible to convert the generated electricity in the wind turbines into hydrogen. The planned total capacity for the cluster is 45 MW.

"We want to show that the next step is already within reach and that we can produce offshore hydrogen on a large scale,”
Van Eijkel explains. “Thanks to the 'island mode', hydrogen turbines will eventually be self-sufficient, so there will be no need to connect to the electricity grid."
The wind farm zone  is located approximately 53 kilometres off the west coast of the Netherlands in the North Sea, and the total surface area is approximately 187 km2. The Wind Farm Zone is expected to accommodate a minimum of 1.4 GW of fixed bottom offshore wind power capacity with the tender winner expected to be announced in autumn.

For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.