Acciona researching Spanish offshore wind-solar-green hydrogen hybrid

EU backs first-of-a-kind green hydrogen experiment project with €6m to establish an industrial-scale floating wind and solar array in the laboratory

Acciona is to coordinate the OceanH2 industrial research project
Acciona is to coordinate the OceanH2 industrial research project

Acciona is leading a research project to create a proof-of-concept design for what could be Spain's first floating offshore wind-solar-green hydrogen plant.

The Spanish developer and its research partners will explore different approaches to green hydrogen design, including how to anchor the turbines, solar panels and electrolysers to the seabed, its integration into an internet of things platform and the size of the plant itself.

The size of the project will determine the feasibility of building the electrolyser technology alongside the floating hybrid system or whether it is more economic to build the hydrogen converter technology on land.

The project partners will also review the whole supply chain from hydrogen production to storage, as well as evaluate the distribution chain in response to the challenges thrown up by its potential construction.

The lab-based project is to be developed by companies and researchers across six Spanish regions: Madrid, the Canary Islands, Andalusia, Cantabria, Navarre and Catalonia. 

Companies such as Redexis, Ariema, TSI, Wunder Hexicon and BlueNewables, together with 12 Spanish research centres, are collaborating with Acciona to develop OceanH2.

It is hoped that the research generated by this project will in the future be transferred to “unforeseen applications and markets”, the company said.

An Acciona spokesperson told Windpower Monthly it was “too early to discuss where, how or whether this pilot will be built”.

Announced last week, the OceanH2 project is backed by the EU’s research programme for science and innovation missions to create an initial engineering design of a project using output from floating offshore wind and solar PV to generate green hydrogen.

The OceanH2 industrial research project has been established to create a proof-of-concept design for what could be Spain’s first offshore green hydrogen plant for generating, storing and distributing the fuel.

Last year, 50GW of green-hydrogen electrolysis projects were announced globally. This includes the new and ‘groundbreaking’ NortH2 10GW green hydrogen project, which would establish a system of offshore wind farms, electrolysers, gas storage and pipelines, to convert offshore wind power into green hydrogen.

In Europe, the sector has been boosted by ambitious policy targets set in 2020 — including the EU aiming to increase the bloc’s electrolyser capacity from about 1GW today to 40GW by 2030 through a new hydrogen strategy.

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