Developing and testing an electrolysis system for offshore hydrogen production
Renewable hydrogen is rapidly emerging as a key tool in the green transformation, providing a clear and clean 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.
The OYSTER project - undertaken by a consortium comprised 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, UK. 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 funded by the Clean Hydrogen Partnership (previously FCH JU), a public private partnership of the European Commission, who awarded the project €5 million in January 2021.
To realise the potential of offshore hydrogen production, there is a need for compact electrolysis systems that can withstand harsh offshore environments and have minimal maintenance requirements while still meeting cost and performance targets that will allow production of low-cost hydrogen. The OYSTER project will provide a major advance towards this aim.
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.
ITM Power is responsible for the development of the electrolyser system and trial, while Ørsted will lead the offshore deployment analysis, the feasibility study of future physical offshore electrolyser deployments, and support ITM Power in the design of the electrolyser system for marinisation and testing. Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy and Element Energy are providing technical and project management expertise. Visit the website to find out more.