A large-scale offshore wind-powered green hydrogen facility could be built in Orkney, UK, if a proposal by the Offshore Wind Power Limited (OWPL) consortium receives necessary approvals.
The consortium formed by Macquarie’s Green Investment Group, TotalEnergies and Scottish developer Renewable Infrastructure Development Group (RIDG) is studying the use of offshore wind to power the production of green hydrogen on an industrial scale on the island of Flotta
in Orkney, Scotland.
The OWPL consortium has submitted a proposal to the Crown Estate Scotland’s offshore wind leasing round (ScotWind) to develop the N1 plan option area west of Orkney. If successful, its proposal – called the West of Orkney Windfarm – could deliver renewable power to a green
hydrogen production facility at the Flotta Terminal.
OWPL is developing plans to power the proposed Flotta Hydrogen Hub in partnership with Flotta Terminal’s owner Repsol Sinopec, and Uniper, an international energy company and pioneer in the field of hydrogen. The proposal is also supported locally by EMEC Hydrogen who has spearheaded Orkney’s leading position in green hydrogen production, the consortium said.
"We believe that green hydrogen could provide a critical alternative route to market for some of Scotland’s largest offshore wind projects and play a significant role in creating wider economic benefits as the North Sea goes through its energy transition. We look forward to working with the Flotta partners to continue to develop this proposal,” said Edward Northam, Head of Green Investment Group Europe.
“TotalEnergies believes in the potential of renewable offshore wind power to produce green hydrogen, supporting our companies to meet their ambition in terms of carbon neutrality. With our proposed West of Orkney windfarm, there is an opportunity to create one of the world’s first green hydrogen plants in Orkney. It is an exciting plan, and we look forward to working on it with our partners and Orkney stakeholders.” said Julien Pouget, Senior Vice President Renewables, TotalEnergies.
“Flotta is an ideal location for green hydrogen production – it is surrounded by the best wind resource in Europe, it lies close to major shipping routes within the vast natural harbor of Scapa Flow. The time is right to maximise the incredible natural assets and geography of the
Flow and Orkney to ensure a long-term sustainable, climate-friendly future for our communities,” said James Stockan, Leader of Orkney Islands Council.
"The Flotta Hydrogen Hub is an exciting concept, with the potential to deliver green hydrogen for the domestic and export markets. We now await the outcome of the ScotWind offshore wind leasing round, in anticipation that the proposal can be then realized,” said Dr Axel Wietfeld, CEO, Uniper Hydrogen.
“We fully support our industry’s transition to clean, green energy and a secure future for skilled oil and gas workers in Scotland and across the UK. We have a strategic roadmap, supported by our shareholders and aligned with each of their strategic ambitions, including energy transition.” said José Luis Muñoz, Chief Executive Officer of Repsol Sinopec.
“The Flotta Terminal has been in operation since 1976 and has made a significant contribution to Orkney’s economy and communities for more than 40 years. This project would enable the terminal to be progressively transformed over time into a diversified energy hub where conventional oil and gas operations continue, co-existing alongside the development of a sustainable long-term green future for the facility.
"The repurposing of Flotta will require local stakeholders support, retaining and upskilling the current workforce as well as the creation of long-term skilled jobs during both construction and hydrogen operations.”
Neil Kermode, Managing Director of EMEC said: “For this project to go ahead, a number of vital elements will have to fall into place, including a market for green hydrogen. We are pleased to be collaborating with our offshore wind partners in pursuit of this goal and we are already in discussion with the Scottish and UK governments to explore the mechanisms required to make this vision happen.”