Producing green hydrogen directly from wind now a reality

  • Nov 25, 2021
  • ESI Africa

Siemens Gamesa has developed the world’s first project capable of producing green hydrogen directly from wind, in “island mode”. It can also operate connected to the grid.

The Brande Hydrogen pilot project in Denmark produced its first green hydrogen as part of its testing and commissioning phase. Project partner Everfuel now distributes the hydrogen produced to hydrogen stations in Denmark, enabling a growing number of zero emission vehicles, such as fuel cell taxis, to operate on a 100% green fuel supply.

Green hydrogen represents a massive opportunity for the energy transition by driving the transformation of the energy system. It can be produced anywhere and used in sectors that are very difficult to decarbonise, such as aviation and shipping, as well as heavy industry such as iron and steel, chemicals and glass. Hydrogen made from wind can be used to cut emissions from nations and industries that are struggling to limit their impact on the climate.

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Poul Skjærbæk, Chief Innovation Officer, Service, at Siemens Gamesa: “There is no way around green hydrogen. It is a game changer in the quest to decarbonise the power supply and solve the climate crisis. Our hydrogen-producing wind turbine is an example of the innovative projects that will help shape the emerging clean-fuel market and accelerate the green energy transition as we integrate unprecedented amounts of renewable energy into the energy system.”

“We are pleased to showcase the entire hydrogen value chain, from renewable energy production to the distribution, with our own high-capacity hydrogen trailers and delivery to our fueling stations. Distributing 100% green hydrogen fuel from Brande is a significant milestone for Everfuel and we are proud to be the first to offtake green hydrogen in island mode from wind energy. The project in Brande is more than just the production of green hydrogen. It symbolises the beginning of the Danish hydrogen adventure, which will help decarbonise our society and fight climate change,” said Jacob Krogsgaard, CEO for Everfuel.

Earlier this year, the Danish authorities granted Siemens Gamesa’s Brande Hydrogen test site status as official regulatory test zone, allowing activities there to operate outside the existing electricity regulations and enabling research into how to develop an island-mode capable system of offshore hydrogen production at turbine level.

The pilot project celebrates now a new milestone, producing its first green H2 as part of the testing and commissioning phase. Project partner Everfuel is distributing this to hydrogen stations in Denmark, enabling a growing number of zero emission vehicles, such as fuel cell taxis, to operate on a 100% green fuel supply.

The Brande Hydrogen setup couples an existing onshore Siemens Gamesa SWT 3.0-113 DD wind turbine with an electrolyser stack from electrolysis partner Green Hydrogen Systems. Siemens Gamesa is also using the Brande Hydrogen site to explore whether integrating new battery technology as an upgrade to the co-located turbine and electrolyser can contribute to grid stability and help address issues around the variability of wind.

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This combination also has the potential to expand the output of existing wind projects. Batteries can store energy in a way that allows electrolysers to run for longer and produce more green H2.

If there is a grid connection, the batteries can distribute the renewable energy to the grid rather than the electrolyser when conditions allow, easing bottlenecks and providing flexibility.

The battery, turbine and electrolyser setup has the potential to enable the production of industrial-scale volumes of green H2 in the near term. Innovations and learnings from the Brande Hydrogen test site will be shared with partners to build use cases for larger-scale green hydrogen production.