British-Dutch oil major Shell has teamed up with Dutch utility Eneco and won the tender to build the subsidy-free 759MW Hollandse Kust (noord) offshore wind projects that will turn into a “super hybrid” – combining the 69 11MW wind turbines with a floating solar park, short-term battery storage, and a green hydrogen electrolyser for additional storage.
Set to be built 18.5 kilometres off the coast of the Netherlands near the town of Egmond aan Zee, Hollandse Kust (noord) – which roughly translates Dutch coast (north) – is expected to generate electricity equivalent for the needs of 1 million Dutch households each year.
The Dutch Government, in their own press announcement of the tender award, explained that “the majority” of the 69 massive wind turbines – to be provided by Siemens Gamesa – “will be situated over 1 km from each other.”
However, Hollandse Kust (noord) is more than just another offshore wind farm, as the project will boast five separate technology demonstrations that CrossWind consortium formed by Shell and Eneco believes could be implemented at full scale down the track.
These five technology demonstrations include a floating solar park and short-term battery storage. The project will also include an electrolyser which will generate green hydrogen which CrossWind says will be used as “a further storage technique” and build on Shell’s existing commitment to building up its green hydrogen credentials.
The “fifth” technology demonstration, as described by the companies, is “the combination of these individual measures to ensure a continuous power supply regardless of the wind situation”, guaranteeing that Hollandse Kust (noord) will be a world leading demonstration of the benefits of offshore renewable technology.
“We are proud to realise Hollandse Kust (noord) together with our joint venture partner, Eneco,” said Maarten Wetselaar, Director of Shell Integrated Gas and New Energies. “Offshore wind will play a pivotal role in the worldwide energy transition.
It will also be another important next step in our ambition to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050 or sooner, in step with society.
“This wind farm is a crucial part of a new value chain – from wind to hydrogen – with our ambition to build a green hydrogen plant in Rotterdam and with NortH2.
This investment fits very well with Shell’s aspirations to competitively deliver more and cleaner energy to our customers, at home, on the go and at work.”
As part of Shell’s larger plans to be net-zero emissions by 2050, and its desire to capture a solid footing in a new marketplace, it has been targeting the production of green hydrogen with its recently announced NortH2 project.
Announced back in March, the NortH2 project – a consortium made up of Shell’s Netherlands subsidiary Shell Nederland, Dutch natural gas company Gasunie, and Dutch port authority Groningen Seaports – plans to combine the production of green hydrogen with a “mega” offshore wind farm.
Shell’s initial plans will see green hydrogen powered by an offshore wind farm and production taking place in Eemshaven, a seaport in the northern province of Groningen.
However, at the time, Shell also floated the possibility of moving green hydrogen production offshore and speculated that production could reach around 800,000 tonnes of green hydrogen each year by 2040.
“Together, we are launching an ambition that puts the Netherlands at the forefront of hydrogen globally,” said Marjan van Loon, President-Director of Shell Nederland. “In addition, it contributes to achieving the objectives of the Dutch Climate Accord and accelerates the energy transition. This project offers opportunities throughout the entire hydrogen chain.
“In addition, it fits well with our New Energies aspirations and our ambitions to find new ways to reduce CO2 emisions and deliver more and cleaner energy, at home, on the go and at work. In order to realise this project, we will need several new partners.
Together we will have to pioneer and innovate to bring together all the available knowledge and skills that are required. The energy transition calls for guts, boldness, and action.”
Hollandse Kust (noord) is not the first time that Shell and Eneco have teamed up to build an offshore wind farm. In June 2016, Shell and Eneco were part of another consortium which were awarded the tender to build the Borssele III & IV offshore wind farm in the Dutch North Sea, which will boast a total of 731.5MW.
Offshore wind is set to play a significant role in the Netherlands through the coming decades, with its current capacity sitting at around 1GW, which is set to increase to nearly 2.5GW by the end of this year.
By 2023, total offshore wind capacity around the Netherlands will increase to 4.7GW, and by 2030 total capacity is expected to increase to 11GW, representing 40% of the country’s total electricity demand.