Wpd has resurrected plans for an offshore wind farm off the east coast of Sweden, boosting its planned capacity and announcing its intention to connect the project to 600MW of electrolysis capacity for green hydrogen production.
The German developer has now boosted the planned capacity of its Storgrundet offshore wind project to approximately 1GW from the 265MW originally envisaged back in 2008.
Storgrundet will be located in relatively shallow waters off the coast of Söderhamn in eastern Sweden. The project was originally proposed back in 2008, with plans for 53 turbines totaling 265MW at the time.
Wpd’s announcement of its upgraded plans follows Sweden unveiling three new zones for offshore wind, including in the Baltic Sea off the country’s south-east coast.
In 2010, Wpd gained the environmental permits, and in 2013, the company said it was pushing forward in full expectation of all the final permits being in place by that summer. According to Windpower Intelligence, the Storgrundet project has laid dormant since at least 2016, however.
Wpd explained that the original permit did not apply for the latest technology, limiting turbine tip heights to 190 metres.
However, it has now applied for a renewed and updated permit for Storgrundet, which – if approved – would allow for turbines with tip heights of up to 290 metres. This would enable using 15MW-plus turbines and so significantly reduce the levelised cost of energy (LCOE), Wpd explained. It expects to receive the permit in 2023.
The company also said it has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with French company Lhyfe to jointly establish and directly connect a 600MW green hydrogen production facility to the wind farm.
Wpd hopes to begin construction around 2025 ahead of project commissioning in 2029.
“We are very pleased and proud that we have landed in this partnership with Lhyfe, which is one of Europe's most advanced and promising players in the production and supply of green hydrogen.,” said Olle Hedberg, CEO at Wpd Offshore Sweden. “Lhyfe possesses the key expertise needed for this type of long-term investment and complements wpd in terms of technical skills.”
Hedberg added: “Already during the pre-study phase, both parties have seen great international interest from companies such as e-fuel producers and ammonia manufacturers – many international players in these areas are already looking to locate themselves in Sweden. We see the interest in our plans in Söderhamn as a clear confirmation from the market that we are right out both in time and place.”
The proposed hydrogen facility is planned to be built in phases, starting in 2025, and "is expected to be in full operation in connection with the commissioning of the Storgrundet wind farm," the companies stated.
The cooperation agreement between WPD and Lhyfe "creates a strong partnership for achieving the companies' ambition to become leading suppliers of green hydrogen in Sweden, and also confirms the favourable market situation in the country," they added.
The green hydrogen production site will be located close to and interconnected with the Storgrundet wind farm, in order to guarantee the source of green electricity. For optimal utilisation of the hydrogen plant, the planned hydrogen production capacity is 600 MW for a production of about up to 240 tonnes per day. Electricity from the offshore wind farm will be used to produce the green hydrogen.
Both the hydrogen plant and the wind farm will be jointly connected to the power grid, which enables optimisation for the electricity market. The hydrogen facility is planned to be located on an industrial site in the municipality of Söderhamn, in close proximity to the Storgrundet offshore wind farm.
The companies said "the conditions for grid connection, access to green electricity and sufficient capacity in the initial phase are very good". They added: "The potential for realising the project at full scale is linked to the development of further processing and/or use of green hydrogen in the same area."