Renewable energy. Inaugurated the first platform to produce hydrogen in the sea

Offshore wind power would bother fewer people if it was farther offshore. The winds are stronger there and the giant wind turbines will not attack the eyes of local residents. This is a fascinating prospect for the renewable hydrogen activists, industrialists, researchers and elected officials who inaugurated, this Thursday, September 22, 2022, in the port of Saint-Nazaire, a “World Premiere. “

It is a yellow barge equipped with a water treatment plant and an electrolyser. It already produces hydrogen by pumping water from the port. In six months she will connect offshore to Floatgen floating wind turbinefrom the Central School of Nantes. “Imagine, 15m waves and a working floating electrolyser! », anticipates Ole Hoefelmann, general manager of power plugUS hydrogen heavyweights, project partner.

Sea water + wind = H2. It is the green equation of an energy generally derived from hydrocarbons, which powers engines, factories… In September 2021, Matthieu Guesné, CEO of Lhyfe, from Nantes, took his Globe competitors by surprise. by opening the first renewable hydrogen plant in Vendée. But for him, the “key to mass development”, it is on the high seas.

“Cheaper to transport”

The next step will be to sell large floating platforms, built in Chantiers de l’Atlantique, to future wind farms. “Some contests already require that the hydrogen vector be integrated into them”, said Thomas Creach of Lhyfe. Because “twenty%” of the parks electricity is lost due to lack of demand on land. You could also use them at 100% to inject “H” into pipes connected to shore. “It is a light gas, cheaper to transport than electricity. There are no electrical substations, there is no loss of energy over long distances”, says Pierrick Sauvage of the Doris engineering group. It could also be the only fuel produced by future offshore and deep-sea anchored floating wind farms.

For all these reasons, Lhyfe expects to sell, by 2035, “10 to 20 hydrogen platforms representing a total power generation capacity of 3 Gigawatts”. Six times more than the Croisic wind farm that, coincidentally, was inaugurated by the President of the Republic when Matthieu Guesné was cutting the ribbons.

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