Italian company Rosetti Marino will start construction in the coming weeks of the so-called “Baseload Power Hub”, an offshore green hydrogen pilot plant that will help resolve the issue of wind power intermittency.

The company has bagged the contract from Dutch energy company CrossWind and will cover the engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning of the offshore plant planned to be located within Hollandse Kust Noord wind farm. This will be 18.5km off the west coast of the Netherlands by the town of Egmond aan Zee, Kallanish notes.

CrossWind, a joint venture between Shell and Eneco, is developing and will start operating by the end of this year the Hollandse Kust Noord offshore wind project. With an installed capacity of 759 megawatts, this will generate about 3.3 terawatt-hours per year.

The hydrogen pilot plant, planned to be completed in 2025, will convert through electrolysis excess energy from the wind farm into green hydrogen that can be converted back into electricity when needed through a fuel cell system. The plant will include batteries for short-term energy storage, Rosetti Marino explains in a note. The wind park will be composed of 69 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 11 megawatts. Construction works started in October last year and should be completed in December 2023.

According to the Italian firm, this is the world’s first platform of its kind – the first to produce offshore green hydrogen for renewable energy storage.

Floating offshore green hydrogen production plant projects are becoming more and more popular in Europe. In 2022, French green hydrogen producer Lhyfe launched its renewable H2 production floating platform demonstrator called Sealhyfe, powered by an offshore wind farm in Saint-Nazaire, France. In the first six-month trial phase, Sealhyfe produced green hydrogen at quay in the port of Saint-Nazaire before being moved off the coast of Le Croisic for a period of 12 months.

In Italy, engineering firm Aquaterra Energy is teaming up with floating offshore technology specialist Seawind Ocean Technology to realise the so-called HyMed, an offshore floating wind and green hydrogen production facility with a capacity of 3.2 gigawatts.

At the same time, local energy fund Nexta Capital has vowed to build an offshore green hydrogen production plant off the coasts of the Apulia region in the south of Italy. Nexta’s subsidiary Nereus is asking for the necessary authorisations to realise a floating wind farm 24km off the coast of Vieste in the province of Foggia. The project will host 147 wind turbines for a capacity of 2.205 gigawatts. It will produce up to 5 terawatt-hours of green electricity annually to power 2.5 million households.

A part of this electricity will be employed to produce green hydrogen with an electrolyser installed on a floating platform. Both projects are planned to be up and running by 2027 in Italian deep waters (see Kallanish passim).