In the wind farm north of the Wadden Islands, the Netherlands plans the first large-scale hydrogen production at sea. The wind farm is good for around 500 MW of electrolysis capacity and should be operational around 2031.

The area was chosen because a wind farm was already planned here for the production of electricity, an existing natural gas pipeline can possibly be reused for transport to land, and the plant can relatively easily be connected to the onshore hydrogen network.

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Leading the way

This project will be the first to apply hydrogen production at sea on a large scale. With this, the national government, companies involved and grid operators are gaining valuable experience with this new technology that will play a major role in the energy system of the future.

Minister for Climate and Energy Policy Rob Jetten: ‘With this plan, we are leading the way worldwide. It is also a big step on top of the Climate Accord target of 4 GW electrolysis by 2030. We have already designated the area as a preferred location so that preparations can start quickly and we give the sector clarity so they can start making their investment plans. I am also very happy with the support we are getting from local governments. The province and the municipalities are fully committed to a green economy where renewable energy production is central.’

Offshore hydrogen transport network

Before the tenders are issued, the Ministry is carefully working out a number of important issues together with the Groningen region, parties around the Wadden region and stakeholders. Such as the landfall of the pipeline to bring hydrogen from the wind farm ashore and how hydrogen production can be done safely and ecologically.

The project will be the first to connect to Gasunie’s offshore hydrogen transport network. This network will bring large quantities of hydrogen on land and will be connected to the hydrogen network on land. This year, it will be worked out what the hydrogen network at sea should look like. This includes investigating to what extent existing gas infrastructure in the North Sea can be reused.

Also read: NOGAT and NGT want to transport green hydrogen by existing gas pipelines

Smaller pilot

As a stepping stone to this project, work is also underway on a smaller pilot with an electrolysis capacity of around 50-100 MW. This should get the first flaws out of the technology so that the 500-MW project can be realised efficiently. Later this year, Minister Jetten intends to choose a preferred location for this smaller project as well.

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