Source Energie, a new player in the United Kingdom's wind power industry, is about to enter the industry with a major splash.
Source Energie’s project is about far more than just drawing electrical power from wind. It plans to use the electrical power derived from its wind turbines to drive a series of hydrogen electrolysis plants.
Even that would not be that novel, except for one big difference. The hydrogen production systems will be floating on the same platforms as the wind turbines.
The core production entity the company is deploying is the Dolphyn system, a combination system incorporating electrical power generation via wind turbines, a compact desalination plant, electrolysis, and full hydrogen production. It was created by the consulting group ERM.
The system will pump the hydrogen it produces via a pipeline network, which brings it to a shoreline facility for further distribution.
The initial project will be floated into place roughly 30 nautical miles due west of Milford Haven, in Wales. The location was selected because the area has strong wind currents which run over 19 knots on a regular basis. Other benefits of the location are that it has several options for setting up the hydrogen pipelines, and the possibility for expansion of the original system.
The pilot plant is part of the Welsh Government Smart Living Initiative’s hydrogen program. With partial financial backing from the countries of Scotland, Wales, and the United Kingdom, it is expected to begin producing hydrogen on a regular basis by 2027-28.
Future expansion plans are being explored via studies commissioned by the Welsh Government. If some of those plans come to pass, Source Energie believes facilities could soon be producing over 2 GW from the deployed wind farms within the projects, the project’s management believes the amount of hydrogen to be produced could make a “material impact” on the UK’s now accelerated programs to decarbonize their energy systems.