Macquarie led a consortium to develop green hydrogen on Orkney Islands
A new offshore wind consortium has applied to develop an industrial-scale green hydrogen production plant on the Isle of Flotta in Orkney, Scotland.
Offshore Wind Power Limited (OWPL) was formed by Macquarie’s Green Investment Group, TotalEnergies and Scottish developer Renewable Infrastructure Development Group (RIDG) to continue development.
He submitted a proposal to Crown Estate Scotland’s (ScotWind) offshore wind lease round for the N1 plan option area west of Orkney. If OWPL’s offer is accepted, the Orkney West wind farm will produce renewable energy for a green hydrogen production facility at the Flotta terminal.
“We believe green hydrogen could provide a vital market alternative for some of Scotland’s largest offshore wind projects and play an important role in creating wider economic benefits as the North Sea undergoes its energy transition. “said Edward Northam, Director of Green Group Investment Europe. “We look forward to working with Flotta partners to further develop this proposal. ”
When the offshore wind farm is developed and operational, it will supply the electrolysers at the Flotta terminal site. Image: GIG of Macquarie.
The plans for the Flotta Hydrogen Hub are designed in partnership with the owner of the Flotta terminal, Repsol Sinopec, and energy giant Uniper. The proposal would help the Flotta terminal – which has been in operation on the island since 1976 – gradually become a diverse hub, with green hydrogen coexisting with oil and gas.
The proposal was supported by the European Center for Marine Energy (EMEC) Hydrogen, which has so far spearheaded Orkney’s leadership position in the field of green hydrogen. This includes the development of the world’s first project combining tidal power, vanadium flow batteries and green hydrogen.
Neil Kermode, Managing Director of EMEC, said Orkney is well advanced in its “ambition to be the global center of excellence for researching and demonstrating how the hydrogen economy works of the future”.
“For this project to materialize, several vital elements will have to be put in place, including a green hydrogen market. We are delighted to be working with our offshore wind partners in pursuit of this goal and are already in discussion with the Scottish and UK governments to explore the mechanisms needed to make this vision a reality. “
The green hydrogen produced will be used to fuel sectors that are difficult to decarbonize, such as transportation and manufacturing. Image: GIG of Macquarie.
The proposed development comes as new research from the Energy Networks Association suggests green hydrogen is the UK’s best option for bypassing future energy supply shortages. A global gas shortage has driven electricity prices up dramatically in recent months, and Britain relying on gas for 37% of its electricity supply in 2020, the changes in the market are particularly noticeable .
In August, the government unveiled its long-awaited hydrogen strategy, which included the ambition to reach 5 GW of low-carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030.
While the cost of electrolyzers is still a concern for the development of green hydrogen projects, a number of projects have started to emerge in the UK that could help achieve this goal. Last week, Octopus Hydrogen formed a strategic partnership with Innova Renewables and Novus to roll out green hydrogen production across the UK for example.
In July, SSE Renewables announced plans to co-locate hydrogen production facilities at two onshore wind farms in Scotland and Ireland with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, and ScottishPower identified the Cromarty Firth as ‘ideal’ for its site 35 MW electrolyser.