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Offshore Wind Journal

Wind-to-gas solution could boost hydrogen economy

Wed 25 Apr 2018 by David Foxwell

Wind-to-gas solution could boost hydrogen economy
Power-to-gas uses electrolysis to produce hydrogen from excess renewable energy (photo: courtesy http://www.power-to-gas.be/valorisation-routes)

Eoly, part of Colruyt Group in Belgium, Fluxys and offshore wind developer Parkwind are to collaborate on an industrial-scale power-to-gas project.

Together, they plan to convert green electricity from offshore wind into hydrogen that can be transported and stored in Belgium’s natural gas infrastructure.

A power-to-gas plant converts energy, in this case from offshore wind, into fuel, in this case hydrogen, using electrolysis, the process by which substances, including water, are broken down into simpler substances when an electric current is passed through them.

Unlike other demonstration projects elsewhere in Europe, Eoly, Parkwind and Fluxys are planning a commercial-scale power-to-gas project.

The aim is to build a power-to-gas installation that can convert several megawatts of electricity from wind energy into hydrogen which can be marketed as carbon-free fuel or feedstock.

Fluxys chief executive Pascal De Buck said, “Our aim with this project is to unlock green gas as an additional renewable energy source alongside wind and solar.”

Hydrogen produced from the power-to-gas facility would be used to offset the variability of renewable energy production, such as from offshore wind. “This project aims to offer a solution,” said Fluxys. “The partners will explore the ability of power-to-gas to offset the variability of power generated from offshore wind energy and provide support services to the power grid. In this way, the installation will optimise how the gas and power systems complement and reinforce each other.”

‘Green’ hydrogen produced in the project will be transported and stored in the existing natural gas infrastructure and reduces the use of natural gas as a source of energy for heating, transport and industry.

Green hydrogen can also be used as carbon-free energy or feedstock in transport, logistics and industrial processes, for example in the chemical industry.

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