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Development of a Viability Assessment Model for Hydrogen Production from Dedicated Offshore Wind Farms


Dedicated offshore wind farms for hydrogen production are a promising option to unlock the full potential of offshore wind energy, attain decarbonisation and energy security targets in electricity and other sectors, and cope with grid expansion constraints. Current knowledge on these systems is limited, particularly the economic aspects. Therefore, a new, integrated and analytical model for viability assessment of hydrogen production from dedicated offshore wind farms is developed in this paper. This includes the formulae for calculating wind power output, electrolysis plant size, and hydrogen production from time-varying wind speed. All the costs are projected to a specified time using both Discounted Payback (DPB) and Net Present Value (NPV) to consider the value of capital over time. A case study considers a hypothetical wind farm of 101.3 MW situated in a potential offshore wind development pipeline off the East Coast of Ireland. All the costs of the wind farm and the electrolysis plant are for 2030, based on reference costs in the literature. Proton exchange membrane electrolysers and underground storage of hydrogen are used. The analysis shows that the DPB and NPV flows for several scenarios of storage are in good agreement and that the viability model performs well. The offshore wind farm – hydrogen production system is found to be profitable in 2030 at a hydrogen price of €5/kg and underground storage capacities ranging from 2 days to 45 days of hydrogen production. The model is helpful for rapid assessment or optimisation of both economics and feasibility of dedicated offshore wind farm – hydrogen production systems.

Funding source: Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Centre: MaREI - Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy (12/RC/2302) and supported by EirWind project industry partners: Brookfield Renewable, DP Energy Ireland, EDP Renewables, Electricity Supply Board, Enerco Energy, ENGIE, Equinor ASA, Simply Blue Energy, SSE Renewables, and Statkraft Ireland.
Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: Ireland

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