The world’s first offshore hydrogen production unit has been inaugurated in the port of Saint-Nazaire, France, ahead of its official trials off the Atlantic coast.
The unit, called Sealhyfe, will, following a phase of dockside tests, connect to BW Ideol’s landmark floating offshore wind turbine operating at the Ecole Centrale de Nantes (ECN) SEM-REV test site off France’s west coast since 2018. It will be installed less than 1 km from the floating wind turbine and connected to the site’s underwater hub for a period of 12 months.
The pilot project, led by the French renewable hydrogen producer and supplier Lhyfe, has the capacity to produce up to 400 kg of renewable green hydrogen a day, equivalent to 1MW of power. The electrolyser was supplied and optimised by US-based hydrogen tech player Plug Power, which was installed on the WAVEGEM wave energy platform developed by Geps Techno.
Lhyfe said that after the trials it would have a substantial volume of data, which should allow the company to design mature offshore production systems and to deploy robust and proven technologies on a large scale, in keeping with the EU’s objective to produce 10m tonnes a year of renewable hydrogen by 2030.