Grimsby has been chosen by the EU OYSTER consortium to host an innovative, marinised electrolyser project for renewable hydrogen production.
On 7 September, ITM Power, as part of the OYSTER project along with Ørsted, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, and Element Energy, outlined how they will develop and test a megawatt-scale, fully marinised electrolyser in a shoreside pilot trial. It will also explore the feasibility and potential of combining an offshore wind turbine directly with an electrolyser and transporting hydrogen to shore.
Grimsby has been selected due to its strong connection to renewable energy. It is where O&M hub for Ørsted’s UK East Coast operations, including Hornsea One and Hornsea Two, both of which use Siemens Gamesa turbines fitted with blades manufactured in Hull.
If the potential of offshore hydrogen production is to be realised, then compact electrolysis systems are needed. They should be able to withstand harsh offshore environments and have minimal maintenance requirements while still meeting cost and performance targets that allow for production of low cost hydrogen. The OYSTER project’s electrolyser system will be designed to be compact, meaning it can be integrated with a single offshore wind turbine and can follow the turbine’s production portfolio. It will also integrate desalination and water treatment processes, allowing seawater to be used as a feedstock for electrolysis.
ITM Power will develop the electrolyser system and electrolyser trials. Ørsted will lead on offshore deployment analysis and the feasibility study of future physical offshore electrolyser deployment, as well as supporting ITM Power in the design of the electrolyser system for marinisation and testing. Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy and Element Energy, meanwhile, will provide technical and project management expertise.
The project is being fully funded by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), which awarded the project €5mn in January 2021.