World’s first offshore renewable hydrogen production pilot site inaugurated


Lhyfe is set to produce the first kilograms of renewable green hydrogen at quay and then sea, operating automatically, in the most extreme conditions through a new pilot site. Having already inaugurated the world’s first site for the production of hydrogen from onshore wind turbines last year, it has now done likewise for offshore, having become “convinced” of the central role it has to play in the “massification of renewable green hydrogen production”.

It has now installed its production unit on a floating platform, which will be connected to a floating wind turbine. Named Sealhyfe, it is set to be able to produce 400kg of green hydrogen per day, while facing several major and unprecedented challenges, including performing all stages of hydrogen production at sea.

Other challenges include managing the effects on the system of the platform’s motion; enduring environmental stress, including a premature ageing of its parts; and operating in an isolated environment, where it will have to operate fully automatically, without any sort of physical intervention from an operator.

An initial six-month trial phase will begin in the port of Saint-Nazaire, allowing initial reference measurements to be obtained and all of the systems to be tested, including desalination and cooling ones, remote control, stack behaviour, energy management and the platform’s resistance to environmental conditions. It will then head off, following this first stage, to spend 12 months off the Atlantic coast.

Sealhyfe is set to be installed less than a kilometre from the floating wind turbine, fixed to the ground via a system of anchors, and connected to the site’s underwater hub using an umbilical which has been designed and is dedicated for this application. Following the trial’s conclusion, Lhyfe expects to have a substantial volume of data which it can then use to design mature offshore production systems, as well as deploy robust and proven technologies on a larger scale, helping to drive towards the EU’s goal for 10mn tonnes of renewable hydrogen by 2030.