CrossWind Green Hydrogen, Lithium-ion Battery Storage in the Works
KBR announces a new contract to construct facilities for green hydrogen production and lithium-ion battery storage at the Hollandse Kust offshore wind farm.
In recent news provided by a U.S.-based company headquartered in Houston, Texas, KBR, Inc., we learn of the company’s newly awarded contract to contribute its engineering services in the construction of an offshore energy storage project for the CrossWind consortium. CrossWind is a joint venture (JV) between the ever-growing energy company Eneco and multinational oil and gas company Shell plc.
Eneco is contributing to increasing electricity generation via offshore wind power. Image used courtesy of Eneco
Synergizing Energy Resources
In July 2020, Shell announced the CrossWind consortium won a tender for Hollandse Kust (noord), a subsidy-free offshore wind farm. The project will involve a combination of five technology demonstrations that could be delivered at full-scale in the future. These technologies include tunable wind turbine networks to minimize ‘wake’-effects, battery storage, a floating solar park, and ‘green hydrogen’ produced by electrolysis (which can be used as another mode of energy storage).
Combining these technologies is intended to maintain a continuous supply of energy, especially concerning wind's intermittent or unreliable nature as a resource.
CrossWind is an opportunity for Shell to achieve its net-zero emissions target by 2050. On a similar front, Eneco wishes to realize its ambition of becoming climate-neutral by 2035. Both targets are seemingly tall orders but must be reached to help limit average global temperature rise by 1.5 degrees Celsius (as outlined under the historic Paris Agreement).
The noord wind farm is intended to commence operations in 2023 with an installed capacity of 759 megawatts (MW), generating a minimum of 3.3 Terawatt-hour (TWh per year). The renewable power generated will be enough to fuel one million Dutch residences. The wind farm will be located 18.5 kilometers off the coast of the Netherlands near Egmond aan Zee, a village in the province of North Holland.
Siemens is involved in the hydrogen chain from production to utilization. Image used courtesy of Siemens
Using Electrolysis to Produce Hydrogen
Hydrogen can be produced through a process known as electrolysis. Electrolysis involves using a cathode- and an anode-bearing unit called an electrolyzer. Within the electrolyzer, a reaction occurs in which hydrogen is separated from oxygen using electricity.
Different types of electrolyzers can either use a liquid or solid electrolyte to operate. These include Alkaline, Solid Oxide, and Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Electrolyzers. Electrolyzers can vary in size to suit small-scale hydrogen production or large-scale production fit for central production facilities. Such a facility can be connected to renewable or other non-greenhouse-gas (GHG)-emitting modes of electricity production.
KBR’s contribution will involve front-end engineering design (FEED) of the baseload power hub (BLPH) for the noord wind farm. According to H+M Industrial, FEED is crucial for delivering an accurate cost estimate, budget, timeline, and robust scope definition, while assessing risks.
KBR and Shell will work together on creating facilities that combine lithium-ion battery storage and green hydrogen production (via electrolysis) at the MW scale. The idea is to facilitate hydrogen production and electricity storage during high-power production. Hydrogen can also be converted to electricity, via a fuel cell, at times when power production is lower.