Edinburgh Airport Partners with Ørsted to Use Hydrogen Produced from Offshore Wind

Edinburgh Airport has teamed up with the world’s largest offshore wind developer Ørsted to reach net-zero by 2040 by using green technologies, including new hydrogen-fuels produced at scale from offshore wind farms, to eliminate carbon emissions from the airport and the aircraft that operate from it.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on 21 October, the two will work together to identify the most effective and affordable options for the airport to decarbonise the energy used in the airport itself and the vehicles that are used to operate it, as well as the energy powering the vehicles getting passengers and goods to and from Edinburgh Airport and the fuel being used by the aircraft using the airport.

Ørsted and Edinburgh Airport said that as part of their collaboration they would work with the Scottish and UK governments on the changes to regulations and policy required to introduce the best options for the airport’s decarbonisation, needed to deliver net-zero by 2040. This will include proposals for hydrogen production facilities powered by offshore wind.

“The aviation industry realises the part it plays in emissions and the need to move towards a cleaner, more sustainable future. We have made huge advances in technology and we want to continue to innovate and ensure aviation’s future is one that is decarbonised and contributes positively to our economy and Scotland’s net zero ambitions”, said Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport.

“Although aviation emissions derive in the main from aircraft in flight, we can play our part within our estate and fuel for aircraft at Edinburgh and we are confident this exciting partnership will help us on our way to a sustainable travel future and see Edinburgh Airport helping to develop and support sustainable fuels and their use”.

Edinburgh Airport is owned by Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), which has also invested in a number of offshore wind farms and holds a 50 per cent ownership share in Ørsted’s Hornsea One, currently the world’s largest offshore wind farm in operation.

The MOU now signed between Ørsted and the airport has been inspired by the Green Fuels for Denmark project, in which Ørsted, Copenhagen Airport, SAS airline, Maersk and others are working together to create a renewable hydrogen hub to decarbonise transport, air travel, and shipping. 

Related Article

The project in Denmark aims to develop 10 MW electrolyser capacity by 2023, 250 MW electrolyser capacity with e-fuel production by 2027, and a vision to scale up to 1.3 GW by 2030. The electricity will be sourced from offshore wind farms and the renewable hydrogen will then be combined with sustainably sourced carbon to produce 250,000 tonnes of e-kerosene and e-methanol per year when fully scaled up.

Ørsted said it would draw on the experiences of this project and work with Edinburgh Airport to implement an array of ambitious initiatives that would rapidly accelerate the shift to sustainable air travel.

In a push to decarbonise air travel, or at least part of the operations behind it, along with Edinburgh and Copenhagen airports’ initiatives to use offshore wind, the airport in Frankfurt is also eyeing using the electricity produced by wind turbines at sea to power its operations.

Last year, Fraport AG, the operator of the Frankfurt Airport, announced its intention to sign one or more power purchase agreements (PPAs) with offshore wind farm operators, seeking to procure around 350 GWh of electricity per year, which corresponds to a peak capacity of around 85 MW.

Photo: Gareth Easton Photography / Edinburgh Airport