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Westküste 100 renewable hydrogen project secures EUR 30 million in funding

In Germany, partners of the Westküste 100 renewable hydrogen project have received EUR 30 million funding confirmation from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy as the first large-scale hydrogen project in the country within the Reallabor (real-world laboratory) framework.

In Germany, partners of the Westküste 100 renewable hydrogen project have received EUR 30 million funding confirmation from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy as the first large-scale hydrogen project in the country within the Reallabor (real-world laboratory) framework (graphic courtesy Westküste 100).

A total of ten partners have joined forces to form the consortium: EDF Deutschland GmbH, Holcim Germany Group, OGE, Ørsted A/S, Raffinerie Heide GmbH, Stadtwerke Heide GmbH, Thüga AG and ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions, together with the Region Heide Development Agency (EARH) and the Fachhochschule Westküste (West Coast University of Applied Sciences).

The project has a total budget of EUR 89 million. The approved funding for the project, which started on August 1, 2020, amounts to EUR 30 million.

The funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economíc Affairs and Energy to the Westküste 100 project is a significant step forward for our hydrogen business. Westküste 100 is our third hydrogen project – and the first one in Germany – found eligible for public funding, and we’re very excited about the prospects of supporting heavy industries and heavy transport with clean alternatives based on renewable hydrogen, commented Martin Neubert, EVP, and CEO, Ørsted Offshore.

Balance off-shore wind and grid power demand balance

Producing hydrogen has traditionally been associated with high carbon emissions, but by using renewable electricity, e.g. from an offshore wind farm, the process of producing hydrogen from water (electrolysis) can be completely decarbonised. Energy-intensive industries and the transportation sector will have the opportunity to reduce their carbon intensity by using renewable hydrogen.

The purpose of the Westküste 100 project is to make industrial processes, aviation, construction, and heating more sustainable in the future. The ‘Westküste 100’ project models a regional hydrogen economy on an industrial scale.

The conditions on Northern Germany’s west coast are ideal for this: A strong wind energy region meets innovative companies that want to contribute to reaching the crucial climate targets.

We are very pleased with this positive decision. This project is unique because it uses offshore wind power for large-scale hydrogen production. Only offshore wind can provide such a reliable renewable source of green power for the electrolysis. This requires that the expansion of renewables and offshore wind power is balanced with the increased demand for hydrogen production. We believe that renewable hydrogen is key to decarbonize industrial sectors. The Westküste 100 project is a cornerstone in our efforts to lead the way in renewable hydrogen as we are doing in offshore wind, to create a world that runs entirely on green energy, said Volker Malmen, Managing Director, Ørsted in Germany.

Start of the first project phase – the electrolysis plant

With the grant approval from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, the Westküste 100 project can now enter its first phase. This first phase includes a number of elements.

A newly founded joint venture, “H2 Westküste GmbH”, consisting of EDF Germany, Ørsted, and the Heide refinery, intends to build a 30 MW electrolyser. This can produce green hydrogen from offshore wind energy and provide information on the operation, maintenance, control, and grid services of the plant.

Furthermore, pipeline transportation of hydrogen and the use of hydrogen in existing and new infrastructure around Heide will be tested. The green hydrogen can be for the production of synthetic hydrocarbons such as sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) or chemical raw material such as methanol.

In the “Real-world laboratories 100” project team, we have a clear vision: The partners are focusing on long-term cooperations that range from the generation of green electricity to the production of synthetic hydrocarbons and thus form the nucleus for sustainable business models in the area of energy system transformation and decarbonization, said Jürgen Wollschläger, Managing Director of Raffinerie Heide and the project’s coordinator

The consortium will also initiate the work to develop the vision of a large-scale sector coupling including a 700 MW electrolyser system into a concrete project. This will require a significant R&D and engineering effort.

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