The German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy has backed the Westkuste100 pilot project which will build a 30MW electrolyser to produce green hydrogen from electricity generated by an offshore wind farm.
The ten company strong consortium behind the Westkuste100 project received both the go-ahead and funding approval from German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy to move forward with the development of what will be Germany’s first hydrogen project included in its “real-world laboratories fostering the energy transition” programme.
Backed by investment of €89 million ($A147 million) the WESTKÜSTE100 pilot project will also benefit from a government grant of €30 million.
The initial project phase, which will run for five years, will see the development of a 30MW electrolyser which will produce green hydrogen from offshore wind energy and provide information on the operation, maintenance, control, and grid compatibility of the equipment. A newly founded joint venture, “H2 Westküste GmbH”, consisting of EDF Germany, Ørsted and the Heide refinery, will develop the pilot project.
In the long term, however, the project is looking to build a 700MW electrolysis plant which will be powered by renewable energy, with a potential focus on being powered by offshore wind.
“Starting from today, the WESTKÜSTE100 partners will be working together to create this green future and build an ecologically and economically sustainable business model,” said Jürgen Wollschläger, managing director of Raffinerie Heide and coordinator of the WESTKÜSTE100 project.
“We see the energy transition as a cross-sectoral endeavour. With industry, science and politicians all pulling together, our 700 MW vision will become reality.”
The consortium is made up of a total of ten partners: EDF Deutschland, Holcim Deutschland, OGE, Ørsted Deutschland, Raffinerie Heide – Heide’s municipal utility, Thüga, and thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions, along with the Region Heide development agency and the Westküste University of Applied Sciences.
“The funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economíc Affairs and Energy to the Westküste 100 project is a significant step forward for our hydrogen business,” said Martin Neubert, Executive Vice President and CEO, Ørsted Offshore. “Westküste 100 is our third hydrogen project – and the first one in Germany – found eligible for public funding, and we’re very excited about the prospects of supporting heavy industries and heavy transport with clean alternatives based on renewable hydrogen.”
The news follows a whole host of similar hydrogen pilot projects designed to be powered by renewable energy, including the biggest of them all, the super hybrid 759MW Hollandse Kust (noord) offshore wind farm, being developed between Shell and Eneco, and which will include a floating solar park, short-term battery storage, and a green hydrogen electrolyser for additional storage.