Offshore Wind Power Limited (OWPL), the consortium formed by Macquarie’s Green Investment Group, TotalEnergies and Scottish developer Renewable Infrastructure Development Group (RIDG) has announced it is studying the use of offshore wind to power the production of green hydrogen on an industrial scale on the island of Flotta in Orkney, Scotland.
The OWPL consortium has submitted a proposal to the Crown Estate Scotland’s offshore wind leasing round (ScotWind) to develop the N1 plan option area west of Orkney. If successful, its proposal – called the West of Orkney Windfarm – could deliver renewable power to a green hydrogen production facility at the Flotta Terminal.
Plans to power the proposed Flotta Hydrogen Hub are being developed by OWPL in partnership with Flotta Terminal’s owner Repsol Sinopec, and Uniper, an international energy company and pioneer in the field of hydrogen. The proposal is also supported locally by EMEC Hydrogen who have spearheaded Orkney’s leading position in green hydrogen production.
Edward Northam, Head of Green Investment Group Europe said green hydrogen could provide a critical alternative route to market for some of Scotland’s largest offshore wind projects.
“[It could also] play a significant role in creating wider economic benefits as the North Sea goes through its energy transition,” he said.
Julien Pouget Senior Vice President Renewables, TotalEnergies said the potential of renewable offshore wind power to produce green hydrogen could support companies to meet their ambition in terms of carbon neutrality.
“With our proposed West of Orkney windfarm, there is an opportunity to create one of the world’s first green hydrogen plants in Orkney.”
Mike Hay, RIDG Commercial Director said the production of green hydrogen is a hugely exciting opportunity for both offshore wind and the Scottish supply chain.
“Projects with substantial capacity factors, such as the West of Orkney Windfarm, could deliver highly competitive power to facilities like the Flotta Hydrogen Hub which could, in turn, supply demand for hydrogen both nationally and internationally,” he said.
“We’ve therefore committed to working exclusively with our partners to investigate this opportunity thoroughly and have already completed cable routing assessments and nearshore geophysical surveys to better understand the practical aspects of project delivery.”
James Stockan, Leader of Orkney Islands Council said Flotta is an ideal location for green hydrogen production – it is surrounded by the best wind resource in Europe, it lies close to major shipping routes within the vast natural harbour of Scapa Flow.
“The time is right to maximise the incredible natural assets and geography of the Flow and Orkney to ensure a long-term sustainable, climate-friendly future for our communities.
“We are very much open for business and ready to work with potential investors and operators to develop the significant strategic and international opportunities we know that our islands offer.”