RWE and Neptune Energy have signed an agreement to jointly develop an offshore green hydrogen demonstration project in Dutch North Sea.

The demonstration project, dubbed H2opZee, will comprise a 300-500MW electrolyser capacity to produce green hydrogen using offshore wind.

The two companies target to develop the offshore hydrogen project before 2030.

Through an existing pipeline, which is expected to facilitate 10-12GW in the future, the produced green hydrogen will be transported.

Neptune Energy Netherlands managing director Lex de Groot said: “This infrastructure is technically suitable, no new pipeline at sea is needed and no new landfall is required through the coastal area.

“With the PosHYdon pilot we are one of the leaders in this field of offshore energy system integration and reuse. The lessons learned from this project apply to H2opZee.

“The faster we can scale up green hydrogen at sea, the faster industries such as chemicals and steel production can become more sustainable. With H2opZee, the Netherlands is becoming a world leader in this area.”

The project is a part of the TKI Wind op Zee, an initiative supported by the Dutch government to boost the offshore energy transition.

H2opZee is expected to be developed in two phases and the first phase will include the commencement of the feasibility study in the second quarter of 2022, to set up an accessible knowledge platform.

In the second phase, the project is planned to be implemented, for which a methodology is yet to be defined.

RWE said that H2opZee project will help boost the hydrogen economy in the Netherlands, as it facilitates roll-out of green hydrogen production offshore at large scale.

RWE Renewables Offshore Wind CEO Sven Utermöhlen said: “Hydrogen is a gamechanger in the decarbonisation of energy-intensive sectors and H2opZee is a world first of this kind and scale.

“With Neptune Energy at our side, we want to develop the H2opZee project to demonstrate how offshore wind can be an ideal partner for the production of green hydrogen at scale and to explore the best way in terms of system integration.

“As RWE, we have a 20-years’ track record in offshore wind and have the hydrogen expertise along the entire value chain under one roof.”

In April 2020, Dutch energy infrastructure company Nederlandse Gasunie joined as a new partner on the PosHYdon pilot, an offshore green hydrogen project in the Dutch North Sea.