Vattenfall's Aberdeen offshore wind farm to get a hydrogen upgrade

Vattenfall aim to install a hydrogen demonstrator project at it's 96.8 MW Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm (AOWF), located 2-5 km off the Aberdeenshire coast.

The AOWF has been operational since 2018. It features 11 x 8.8 MW turbines supported by three-legged suction bucket jacket foundations, an industry first. Vattenfall are now looking to demonstrate the feasibility of offshore hydrogen production by installing hydrogen generating equipment at one of the turbines.

Vattenfall has submitted an EIA Screening Opinion Request Report to Scottish Ministers to help determine whether an EIA is required and other necessary consents.

An existing AOWF turbine, dubbed Hydrogen Turbine 1 (HT1), will be retrofitted by installing an extended transition piece platform to house hydrogen producing equipment and other associated infrastructure. The hydrogen equipment installed on the turbine will comprise the electrolyser, desalination equipment and compressors. The platform to support this new infrastructure will be installed on the transition piece of the turbine, extending the current platform to provide sufficient area.

From the turbine, a new subsea flowline would be installed, connecting to an onshore storage and offtake facility. Route options are under consideration, with a length range of 6.5 - 14.3 km. The flowline is anticipated to be a maximum of 8” internal diameter.

The location of the onshore infrastructure for HT1 is yet to be finalised and is subject to ongoing site selection. Irrespective of location, the site will be up to a maximum of 0.5 ha in size, in close proximity (no more than 1 km) from the landfall.
Various opportunities for offtake, including transportation, industrial uses and marine operations are currently being considered.

The HT1 facility is envisaged to be operational by 2024/5. The lifetime of the project is likely to be between 8-10 years, which is the lifetime of the electrolyser system. The current OWF is licenced until July 2043.

The project offers a unique opportunity to test the viability of offshore production of green hydrogen and help move towards commercial scale operations and contribute to global carbon reduction and reaching the Scottish target of being net zero by 2045 and the UK target of being net zero by 2050.

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