Funding puts wind in sails of offshore green hydrogen production scheme

Energy storage and clean fuel firm, ITM Power, is part of a project to explore the potential to harness wind for offshore green hydrogen production.

The listed Sheffield-based company is in a consortium which has just received a 5m euro (£4.5m) European Union award.

This is the latest announcement from the ITM Power which recently launched a gigafactory at Bessemer Park in Sheffield. The business now has a market value of more than £3bn after its shares closed yesterday at a record high of 570p. Its value has more than doubled in value since October and is six times higher than 12 months ago.

Funding for the new OYSTER Project has come from The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH2-JU) to demonstrate and investigate a combined wind turbine and electrolyser system designed for operation in marine environments.

As well as ITM Power, the consortium includes Ørsted, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, and Element Energy.

The group will develop and test a megawatt-scale fully marinised electrolyser in a shoreside pilot trial.

The pilot aims to address the challenge to realising the potential of offshore hydrogen production. Namely the 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 electrolyser system will be designed to be compact, so it can be integrated with a single offshore wind turbine, and to follow the turbine’s production profile.

The system will also integrate desalination and water treatment processes, making it possible to use seawater as a feedstock for the electrolysis process.

If successful, the scheme will mean hydrogen can be produced from offshore wind at a cost that is competitive with natural gas, unlocking bulk markets for green hydrogen making a meaningful impact on CO2 emissions.

The project is planned to start in 2021 and run to the end of 2024.

ITM Power is responsible for the development of the electrolyser system and the electrolyser trials, 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 expertise.

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