Proposed West of Orkney wind farm could feed ‘industrial scale’ hydrogen production

A consortium bidding in the ScotWind leasing round to build a 2GW offshore wind farm west of Orkney said it plans to use it to power the production of green hydrogen on an industrial scale on Orkney’s Flotta island.
Macquarie’s Green Investment Group, TotalEnergies and Scottish developer RIDG joined as Offshore Wind Power Limited (OWPL), to bid for the N1 option area west of Orkney. Now the group says it has partnered with Repsol Sinopec, which owns the existing Flotta Terminal, and power company Uniper, as well as EMEC Hydrogen, to develop Flotta Hydrogen Hub, an industrial scale hydrogen facility.
Mike Hay, RIDG commercial director, said “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.
“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.”
José Luis Muñoz, chief executive of Repsol Sinopec, said “The Flotta Terminal has been in operation since 1976 and has made a significant contribution to Orkney’s economy and communities for more than 40 years. This project would enable the terminal to be progressively transformed over time into a diversified energy hub where conventional oil and gas operations continue, co-existing alongside the development of a sustainable long-term green future for the facility. The repurposing of Flotta will require local stakeholders support, retaining and upskilling the current workforce as well as the creation of long-term skilled jobs during both construction and hydrogen operations.
Neil Kermode, managing director of the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), said, “For this project to go ahead, a number of vital elements will have to fall into place, including a market for green hydrogen. We are pleased to be collaborating with our offshore wind partners in pursuit of this goal and we are already in discussion with the Scottish and UK governments to explore the mechanisms required to make this vision happen.”
The consortium said it had made its wind farm bid after five years of engagement with stakeholders in Caithness and Orkney, including Memorandums of Understanding with Orkney Harbour Authority and Scrabster Harbour Trust to enhance port infrastructure. It has a second, exclusive, MoA with EMEC.

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