Opportunity for the world’s first combined floating wind and green hydrogen project off the east coast of Scotland
The 200 MW Salamander floating wind project, developed by Simply Blue Energy in partnership with Subsea 7, has signed a memorandum of understanding with ERM for the potential use of the ERM Dolphyn hydrogen technology. The project is also working closely with Scotland Gas Networks (SGN) to potentially integrate with and connect into future 100 % hydrogen infrastructure or as a blend with existing gas infrastructure, which SGN are aiming to develop through their decarbonisation roadmap.
The award-winning ERM Dolphyn is a first of a kind technology combining electrolysis, desalination and hydrogen production on a floating wind platform – with the hydrogen transported to shore via pipeline. It is an economic and scalable solution, which produces green hydrogen with no carbon emissions at the point of use.
SGN is the owner and operator of the gas distribution networks in Scotland, who are currently carrying out the North East Network and Industrial Cluster Project, which in its first phase, aims to develop and deploy a hydrogen economy in Aberdeen and the surrounding area.
The Salamander project has been investigating different routes to market since its inception and due to its advantageous location off Aberdeenshire the project believes producing green hydrogen is a very interesting option. Green hydrogen is viewed as a vital ingredient in achieving the “Net Zero” ambition of the UK. Considering the huge multi-GW potential of floating wind in the UK, pairing green hydrogen with floating wind is a very sensible option and an obvious solution to scaling up green hydrogen production.
The Salamander project, with the incorporation of ERM Dolphyn technology, has the potential to make a material impact on the Government’s 10-point plan, including the ambition to deliver 1 GW of floating wind power by 2030 and 5 GW of green hydrogen by 2030. The proximity to St Fergus Gas Terminal, the significant interest in the energy transition in the Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City regions demonstrated by the recently announced Energy Transition Zone, as well as key flagship projects such as Aberdeen Vision make Salamander the ideal location for green hydrogen production. The combination of innovative floating wind and green hydrogen technologies, and the pipelines and assets surrounding the St Fergus Gas Terminal present an ideal opportunity to begin to decarbonise North Sea energy production.
Prior to the Salamander project, ERM Dolphyn aims to undertake a 10 MW demonstration project, which would produce green hydrogen offshore and provide the first step needed to scale up at Salamander. The Salamander project and ERM Dolphyn will engage in further engineering work in the coming months to assess the potential deployment of the ERM Dolphyn technology within the Salamander project.
Adrian de Andres, Salamander Project Director, said “When we started the Salamander project, we always envisioned a stepping-stone project and a catalyser for future, bigger commercial opportunities. Considering the rapidly approaching 2030 deadline for the floating wind and green hydrogen targets, we now think the Salamander project could act not only as a stepping-stone for floating wind but also potentially for green hydrogen production, paving the way for multi-GW green hydrogen developments in the 2030s. The Salamander project is targeting a lease under the upcoming Innovation & Decarbonisation leasing process and looks forward to putting forward our ambitious green hydrogen plans to Crown Estate Scotland and Marine Scotland. We believe our vision very much fits with the objectives set by the Scottish Government in the Hydrogen Policy Statement as well as the decarbonisation of the North Sea.”
Steve Matthews, Major Projects Director at ERM said: “We are delighted to enter into this memorandum of understanding with Simply Blue Energy and Subsea 7 for the Salamander project. Our ambition for ERM Dolphyn is to progress towards multi-GW, green hydrogen-producing floating wind farms over the next decade – in the UK, Europe and further afield. Salamander potentially provides an ideal first step for us and, with the valuable support of Government and industry, it will help position Scotland and the UK at the forefront of green hydrogen generation.”
Sir Ian Wood, Chairman of ETZ Ltd, said: “The potential for the world’s first combined floating wind and green hydrogen project to be located off the North East coast of Scotland is a hugely positive development and one that reinforces our region’s credentials in becoming a globally recognised energy cluster. This is a pioneering project that will help enable the huge potential in green hydrogen production from floating offshore wind turbines and I commend ERM Dolphyn, working with Simple Blue Energy and Subsea 7, for moving this forward at pace.”
“The Energy Transition Zone is being developed to ensure this region has the right facilities to support projects such as Salamander so we can realise the full potential of green hydrogen and other exciting energy transition activities. By developing the energy transition opportunities in the region, we can attract more transformative projects while creating new jobs in our energy transition supply chain, attracting international investment to realise our net zero ambitions and deliver benefits to communities across the region.”
Emma Harrick, Energy Transition and Supply Chain Manager at Scottish Renewables, said “Scotland has an ambition to increase the amount of offshore wind in its waters tenfold by 2030, with the ongoing ScotWind Leasing process likely to provide the lion’s share of that capacity. However, supply chain organisations need the time to prepare and to improve their competitiveness for large-scale commercial deployments, and smaller offshore projects like Salamander can provide a useful stepping-stone for suppliers hoping to upskill, learn and invest with the aim of benefiting from the multi-billion-pound opportunity of global decarbonisation.”
Source: Company Press Release