The world’s first offshore green hydrogen unit has started production in the Atlantic Ocean. The company behind it is the hydrogen pioneer Lhyfe, which is present in 11 European countries and, in 2021, inaugurated the world’s first industrial green hydrogen production site directly connected to a wind farm.
1. From pilot to production
Only one year later, in 2022, Lhyfe inaugurated the world’s first pilot platform for green hydrogen production at sea and, as of 20 June 2023, the platform began producing its first kilos of offshore hydrogen. The production pilot, known as Sealhyfe, is towed 20 kilometres out into the Atlantic and connected with the SEM-REV power hub.
We are extremely proud to be the first in the world to produce hydrogen at sea.Matthieu Guesné, Founder and CEO of Lhyfe
In just 16 months, Lhyfe and its partners designed, built and assembled all of the technology necessary for producing hydrogen offshore, including the 1 MW electrolyser supplied by Plug, reads a press statement. The Sealhyfe platform, which is less than 200 square metres in area, is capable of producing up to 400 kilograms of hydrogen a day.
“Our team – supported brilliantly by our partners – has achieved a genuine feat of technology in successfully designing this first floating green hydrogen production site. We are extremely proud to be the first in the world to produce hydrogen at sea,” said Matthieu Guesné, Founder and CEO of Lhyfe.
The production site was towed on19 May to the SEM-REV offshore testing site, 20 kilometres off the coast of Le Croisic, France. It was then connected to the site’s subsea hub via a dedicated umbilical cable that was specially designed for the hydrogen application. The system was restarted and on stream in just 48 hours.
2. Offshore production
Typically, offshore green hydrogen units leverage renewable energy sources, primarily wind and solar power, to generate electricity. Large-scale wind turbines or floating solar panels are installed in offshore areas to capture and convert renewable energy into electricity. The French-based energy company is committed to expand and is deploying numerous onshore and offshore sites throughout Europe.
“This has been our wish since the launch of the company and we continue to move very quickly on offshore, which for us represents a tremendous development opportunity for mass producing hydrogen and decarbonising industry and transport,” added Guesné.
3. Next steps
Lhyfe also announced that it is coordinating the HOPE project, a project selected by the European Commission under the European Clean Hydrogen Partnership, with a €20 million budget. With HOPE, Lhyfe and its partners are moving up a gear and aiming for commercialisation. This large-scale project (10 MW) is meant to produce up to four tonnes a day of green hydrogen at sea, which will be exported ashore by pipeline, and then compressed and delivered to customers.
Founded in 2017, Lhyfe is establishing itself among the players helping achieve the target set by the Commission as part of the REPowerEU plan, which sets a target of of 10 million tonnes of clean hydrogen produced in the European Union by 2030. To achieve this, Lhyfe said it has already signed partnership agreements with wind turbine developers and offshore power specialists, such as EDPR, Centrica and Capital Energy.