Wpd has revived the plans for an offshore wind farm off Sweden’s east coast, which increases its planned capacity and announces its intention to connect the project to 600 MW of electrolyte capacity for the production of green hydrogen.
The German developer has now increased the planned capacity for its offshore wind project Storgrundet from the 265 MW originally planned in 2008.
Storgrundet will be located on relatively shallow water off the coast of Söderhamn in eastern Sweden. The project was originally proposed as early as 2008, with plans for 53 turbines of a total of 265 MW at that time.
Wpd’s announcement of its upgraded plans follows Sweden’s uncovering three new zones for offshore wind, including in the Baltic Sea off the country’s southeast coast.
In 2010, Wpd received the environmental permits, and in 2013 the company said that it was progressing in full expectation that all final permits would be in place that summer. According to Windpower Intelligence, however, the Storgrundet project has been dormant since at least 2016.
Wpd explained that the original condition did not apply to the latest technology, which limits the turbine tip heights to 190 meters.
However, they have now applied for a renewed and updated permit for Storgrundet which – if approved – would allow turbines with top heights of up to 290 meters. This would make it possible to use 15MW-plus turbines and thus significantly reduce the equalized energy cost (LCOE), Wpd explained. The permit is expected to be issued in 2023.
The company also said that it has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the French company Lhyfe to jointly establish and directly connect a 600MW green hydrogen production plant to the wind farm.
Wpd hopes to be able to start building around 2025 before the project is put into operation in 2029.
“We are very happy and proud that we have landed in this partnership with Lhyfe, which is one of Europe’s most advanced and promising players in the production and delivery of green hydrogen,” says Olle Hedberg, CEO of Wpd Offshore Sweden. “Lhyfe possesses the key competencies needed for this type of long-term investment and complements the wpd in terms of technical expertise.”
Hedberg added: “Already during the feasibility study phase, both parties have seen great international interest from companies such as e-fuel producers and ammonia manufacturers – many international players in these areas are already looking to locate in Sweden. We see the interest in our plans in Söderhamn as a clear confirmation from the market that we are right out in both time and place. ”
The proposed hydrogen plant is planned to be built in stages, starting in 2025, and “is expected to be in full operation in connection with the commissioning of the Storgrundet wind farm”, the companies stated.
The cooperation agreement between WPD and Lhyfe “creates a strong partnership to achieve the companies’ ambition to become leading suppliers of green hydrogen in Sweden, and also confirms the favorable market situation in the country”, they added.
The green hydrogen production plant will be close and connected to the Storgrundet wind farm to guarantee the source of green electricity. For optimal utilization of the hydrogen plant, the planned hydrogen production capacity is 600 MW for a production of approximately 240 tonnes per day. Electricity from the offshore wind farm will be used to produce the green hydrogen.
Both the hydrogen plant and the wind farm will be connected jointly to the electricity grid, which enables optimization for the electricity market. The hydrogen plant is planned to be located on an industrial site in the municipality of Söderhamn, in close proximity to the offshore wind farm Storgrundet.
The companies said “the conditions for grid connection, access to green electricity and sufficient capacity in the initial phase are very good”. They added: “The possibility of realizing the project on a full scale is linked to the development of further processing and / or use of green hydrogen in the same area.”