Norwegians Developing Offshore Substation-Hydrogen Factory Combo

Norwegian companies, Arendals Fossekompani, Kongsberg, and Moreld, have joined forces on the Hydepoint project to develop a combined offshore substation and hydrogen factory.

Mads Arild Vedøy/Norwegian Offshore Wind; For illustrative purposes

Hydepoint is expected to contribute to solving several challenges related to the development and upscaling of offshore wind power.

”Hydepoint is a complete solution for receiving, converting, and transmitting the full energy potential from offshore wind farms, with reduced dependence on the onshore power grid,” said Morten Henriksen, Executive Vice President at Arendals Fossekompani.

”Placed in the ocean, close to wind farms, Hydepoint can convert all or part of the energy into hydrogen. This will reduce the need for upscaling the power grid both to and on land.”

Further development of offshore wind, including the upcoming licensing round in Norway, will require significant strengthening of the power grid, the companies said. A partial, or full conversion of the energy to hydrogen is expected to reduce the need for grid investments and effectively increase production of hydrogen.

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”Demand for hydrogen is already significant and expected to grow further. Hydrogen is utilized directly in several industries and will also be used for production of alternative energy carriers, such as ammonia and synthetic LNG. Green hydrogen, that is hydrogen produced based on renewable energy, will replace gray hydrogen, which is based on natural gas. This will have a positive environmental effect both short-term and long-term,” Henriksen said.

One of the challenges associated with wind power is of course variable production, from day to day and hour to hour. With an increased share of offshore wind in the energy mix, production is at some point likely to exceed the need or capacity of the transmission lines to land, and also the onshore power grid.

”KONGSBERG already has significant activities in offshore wind, offering solutions that enable efficient development and operation of offshore wind,” said Geir Håøy, CEO of Kongsberg.

”For offshore wind to work in complex energy systems, it is crucial to ensure attractive and robust solutions for energy conversion, storage, and management. Hydepoint contributes to solving these challenges by allowing surplus power to be converted directly to hydrogen offshore. Hydrogen can be stored, transported, and used alternatively.”

Hydepoint is based on the development and qualification of standardized and scalable solutions. Thus, Hydepoint isn expected to contribute to reduced costs in the global large-scale build-up of offshore wind that is planned over the next 20 to 30 years.

”There is a great potential for reducing costs through solutions that can be industrialized, standardized and built in large numbers. Hydepoint will offer fully developed substations where both costs and delivery time are significantly reduced,” said Geir Austigard, CEO of Moreld.

Arendals Fossekompani, Kongsberg Gruppen, and Moreld are industrial partners who will be equal owners of the new company, Hydepoint AS.

Moreld contributes with offshore infrastructure solutions, Kongsberg with power and management systems, and Arendals Fossekompani contributes with solutions for optimized planning and operation through its in-depth knowledge of the power market, including through the portfolio company Volue. the companies said.

The collaboration is based on an initiative from Kjell O. Johannessen, a former leader of the oil and gas cluster NODE, and leader of the industrial network Green Energy Network. Johannessen will have a smaller ownership interest in the company.

”Hydepoint is developed primarily as a floating concept that can easily be scaled in size and number. It solves several challenges related to offshore wind power and ensures the robustness and flexibility necessary to be implemented with reduced requirements for local infrastructure and value chains. Hydepoint is highly scalable and may very well become a global export item,” said Johannessen.

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