Norwegian trio to develop ‘offshore hydrogen factories’

Moreld, which is owned by HitecVision, Arendals Fossekompani, an industrial investment company focusing on green energy, and Norwegian conglomerate Kongsberg said the aim of the concept is to solve several challenges related to the development and upscaling of offshore wind.

Together they have formed a company to develop hydrogen substations, Hydepoint AS, which will be owned equally by the companies. Hydepoint will be developed primarily as a floating concept that can easily be scaled in size and capacity.

Moreld will provide offshore infrastructure solutions; Kongsberg will provide power management expertise; and Arendals Fossekompani will provide expertise in the power market, including through its portfolio company Volue.

The collaboration is based on an initiative from entrepreneur Kjell Johannessen, a former leader of the oil and gas cluster NODE, and leader of the Green Energy Network.

Arendals Fossekompani executive vice president Morten Henriksen said, “Hydepoint is a complete solution for receiving, converting and transmitting all of the energy potential in an offshore windfarm, with reduced dependence on the grid. Installed offshore, close to windfarms, Hydepoint can convert all or part of the energy produced into green hydrogen. This will reduce the need to scale-up the power grid.”

The Norwegian companies said further development of offshore wind – including the upcoming licensing round in Norway – will require significant strengthening of the power grid. Partial or full conversion of the energy produced to hydrogen will reduce the need for grid investment and increase production of green hydrogen, for which demand is growing.

“Demand for hydrogen is already significant,” said Mr Henriksen. “It is utilised directly in industry and will also be used for production of energy carriers such as ammonia and synthetic LNG. Green hydrogen produced using renewable energy will replace grey hydrogen, which is based on natural gas. This will have a positive environmental effect both in the short term and long term. One of the challenges associated with wind power is variable production. With more offshore wind in the energy mix, at times, production is likely to exceed the capacity of transmission systems and the onshore power grid.”

Kongsberg chief executive Geir Håøy said, “For offshore wind to work it is crucial to ensure attractive and robust solutions for energy conversion, storage, and management. Hydepoint will contribute to solving these challenges by allowing surplus power to be converted directly to hydrogen offshore.”

Moreld chief executive Geir Austigard said, “Hydepoint will offer fully developed substations that will reduce costs and delivery time.”