Spanish renewable energy developer Acciona is leading a pioneering government funded project. 6 million euros to build what would be the first green hydrogen plant in the world powered by floating wind and photovoltaic technologies.
OceanH2, this is the name of the green hydrogen project, will be based on the two-headed floating wind units of the Swedish company Hexicon and on the new generation solar installations offshore.
OceanH2 will explore “different implementation scenarios” for an offshore hybrid electricity generation system, taking into account the emerging green hydrogen production, storage and distribution chain.
Laboratory-scale tests conducted by Wunder Hexicon, a jointly owned company of Hexicon and the Spanish company WunderSight, begin. The three-year project will be developed in six autonomous communities of the European country: Madrid, Canary Islands, Andalusia, Cantabria, Navarre and Catalonia - to “guarantee technological synergies and national scientific capabilities”.
Green hydrogen from offshore energy
Marcus Thor, CEO of Hexicon, has very clear ideas about the advantages (also for theenvironment) of such a plant.
First, of course, offshore there is unlimited water for the electrolysis process which produces green hydrogen. Secondly, that floating wind farms could operate even without a connection to the mainland.
They would produce green hydrogen for offshore loading onto tankers for subsequent transportation to industry, or for future use as a fuel for green shipping.
This would favor both the creation of jobs and the mobilization of future investments to implement the innovative results of the project in the market.
The OceanH2 green hydrogen project is supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities and will involve twelve research centers across the country.
The wind of change
Once we see an experimental technology, floating wind is gaining more and more speed. We see more and more independent industrial-scale projects in major maritime regions of the world.
Hexicon currently has pure floating wind developments underway off Korea with oil giant Shell. Green hydrogen power plants are also planned in South Africa and Scotland, but this is its first hybrid project, although the Swedish company's original offshore energy project included wind, marine and solar technologies.
The floating wind market is on the verge of explosive growth globally.
By 2040 it will have a nearly 1.000-fold expansion of the current global fleet. Not bad, right?
DNV, in its latest Energy Transition Outlook, predicts around 260 GW of floating wind worldwide by 2050.