Ørsted and its partners in the Westküste 100 project have received funding confirmation from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy.
Westküste 100 is the first large-scale hydrogen project in Germany that is part of the country’s ‘Reallabor’ (real-world laboratory) framework.
Ørsted Offshore executive vice president and chief executive Martin Neubert said, “Funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is a significant step forward for our hydrogen business.
“Westküste 100 is our third hydrogen project – and the first in Germany – eligible for public funding. We are excited about the prospects of supporting heavy industries and heavy transport with clean alternatives based on renewable hydrogen.”
Producing hydrogen has usually been associated with high carbon emissions, but by using renewable electricity, such as from an offshore windfarm, the process can be completely decarbonised.
The purpose of the Westküste 100 project is to make industrial processes, aviation, construction and heating more sustainable.
The €89M (US$105M) project started on 1 August 2020. So far, €30M has been approved. In addition to Ørsted, nine partners have joined forces in the consortium: EDF Germany, Holcim Germany, OGE, Raffinerie Heide, Stadtwerke Heide, Thüga and thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions, together with the Region Heide Development Agency and the Fachhochschule Westküste (West Coast University of Applied Sciences).
Ørsted managing director Germany Volker Malmen said, “We are very pleased with this decision. This project is unique because it uses offshore wind power for large-scale hydrogen production. Only offshore wind can provide such a reliable renewable source of green power for the electrolysis.
“We believe that renewable hydrogen is key to decarbonising industrial sectors. The Westküste 100 project is a cornerstone in our efforts to lead the way in renewable hydrogen as we are doing in offshore wind, to create a world that runs entirely on green energy.”
The first phase of the Westküste 100 will see a newly founded joint venture, H2 Westküste GmbH, consisting of EDF Germany, Ørsted and the Heide refinery, build a 30-MW electrolyser that will produce green hydrogen from offshore wind.
Pipeline transportation of hydrogen and using hydrogen in existing and new infrastructure around Heide will be tested.
The consortium will also initiate work to develop a vision of sector coupling, including a 700-MW electrolyser system. This will require significant R&D and engineering effort.