Led by Shell, the research project, whose abbreviated name stands for Flexible Offshore Wind Hydrogen Power Plant Module, intends to develop and demonstrate technology that will accelerate the scale-up of offshore wind, green hydrogen production and its integration in the energy system. The project is to start in April 2022 and will last four years.
Scalable and independently
The FlexH2 project will develop innovations that could significantly reduce investment costs for offshore wind transmission infrastructure. The proposed wind-to-hydrogen solution enables direct sourcing of renewable electricity to green hydrogen production. It is expected to be scalable and can be operated independently from a local or national power grid, thus reducing the time-to-market by 5 to 10 years. The integration of the various proposed innovations – varying from the offshore wind turbines to the transport and delivery of the power to an onshore electrolyser – could reduce the cost of hydrogen production by at least 10% and well before 2030. The results of this research project could provide the basis for the accelerated development of Power-to-H2 projects in the Netherlands.
Example of collective efforts
The FlexH2 research project is part of the GROW programme and led by Dr. Yin Sun, Offshore Wind Electrical Innovation Lead at Shell, who said: “The development of this innovative concept is a fantastic example of the collective efforts between industry, academia and governments that will be needed to reach society’s net-zero emissions goals.”
FlexH2 is based on three key technological innovation pillars: (1) a grid-forming offshore wind farm, (2) a high-performance AC/DC solid-state transformer for large-scale electrolysers, and (3) a multi-terminal hybrid HVDC transmission system and its energy system integration. The project will determine the optimal design and operational solutions for these pillars. FlexH2 will also demonstrate the feasibility and inter-operability of these key technologies at a medium voltage level, which is crucial to boost the confidence of the FlexH2 concept for application in commercial projects.