Norsk Hydro is installing a pioneering demonstration facility outside Haugesund to show how hydrogen and wind power can be used together to provide a totally clean energy source for the tiny town of Utsira and its 250 citizens. The plan is to provide ten households with green energy all year round, using a single wind turbine on a coastal site. Excess generation from the turbine will used to make hydrogen on site. In the first phase of the project, starting this month, the hydrogen will be used to drive a generator to produce electricity when there is no wind. In the longer term, a more direct method of converting the hydrogen will be introduced. Norsk Hydro is already one of the world's largest hydrogen producers and the company has invested around NKK 40 million in the two year project. "As it is a pilot project, we cannot expect it to be cost effective," says the company's Jørgen Rostrup. "Utsira will provide us with unique experience in building and running such a project and it will become a model for how we can provide powerful energy systems based on renewable energy in the future."
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