Electrification of the Chemical Industry

23-10-2017

First hydrogen wind turbine for sustainable fuel to be sited in the Netherlands

The world’s first hydrogen wind turbine is to become a reality in the Wieringermeer area at the start of 2019. This is the objective of a partnership formed between initiator and sustainable hydrogen supplier HYGRO, wind turbine manufacturer Lagerwey and research institute and VoltaChem co-initiator ECN. The wind turbine will be producing hydrogen for the Duwaal project, the initiative of a wind-ranging consortium in the North Holland region led by HYGRO. The consortium’s aim is to implement the chain of sustainable hydrogen production, distribution to at least 5 hydrogen fuel stations and 100 hydrogen trucks simultaneously.

The 4.8 MW Lagerwey wind turbine will be converted to allow it to incorporate electrolysis technology. Integration of both proven technologies will enable many components to be omitted, making the hydrogen production cheaper, more efficient and more robust.

The hydrogen wind turbine, the first of its kind, is to be demonstrated on ECN’s wind turbine testing field at Wieringerwerf. In the future, wind turbines will ideally be connected up to a hydrogen gas network rather than an electricity grid. Transporting hydrogen by pipeline is significantly cheaper than transporting electricity by cable. Furthermore, pipelines serve as an inherent buffer, as a result of which significantly less harmonisation of supply and demand is required, one of the challenges that ‘regular’ wind and solar energy face. The sustainably produced hydrogen will be used within the compass of the Duwaal project in so-called fuel cell electric trucks. In addition to preventing CO2 emissions, this will also dispense with noise nuisance and emissions of NOx- and particulate matter. Hence the project will show how future energy infrastructure could take shape.

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