GIGASTACK PROJECT – HYDROGEN PRODUCTION FROM OFFSHORE WIND

The Gigastack project, led by ITM Power, Orsted, Phillips 66 Limited and Element Energy, will show how renewable hydrogen derived from offshore wind can support the UK’s 2050 net-zero greenhouse gas emission target.
Producing hydrogen has traditionally been associated with high carbon emissions, but by using renewable electricity, e.g. from an offshore wind farm, the process of producing hydrogen from water (electrolysis) can be completely decarbonised. Energy-intensive industries and the transportation sector will have the opportunity to reduce the carbon intensity of their fuels by using renewable hydrogen.
As part of the initial feasibility phase of the Gigastack project, which finished in 2019, ITM Power developed designs for a low-cost modular 5 MW electrolyser stack, collaborating with Ørsted to understand the potential synergies with offshore wind farms and with Element Energy to undertake a market analysis and explore business models for the first industrial-scale 100MW electrolysers.
For the second phase of the project, which has now received funding from the department for BEIS, the consortium will conduct a Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) study on a 100MW electrolyser system using staged installations with a nominal capacity of 20MW. The FEED study will detail the actual design of a hydrogen production system connected to a wind farm and industrial off-taker using ITM Power’s new generation of electrolyser stack technology, renewable energy directly from Orsted’s Hornsea Two offshore wind farm, and with the resulting renewable hydrogen supplied to an industrial off-taker; Phillips 66 Limited’s Humber Refinery. A key objective of the Gigastack project is to identify and highlight regulatory, commercial and technical challenges for real applications of industrial-scale renewable hydrogen systems.
As part of the second phase, ITM Power will also install and trial both their next-generation electrolyser stack and the semi-automated manufacturing machines required for large-scale and high-volume manufacture of these new large low-cost stacks. This will help validate a complete production system capable of delivering hundreds of megawatts of electrolysers per year.
Details about the project:
• ITM Power will finalise manufacturing designs and test their new generation of electrolyser stack technology, which enables very large stacks (up to 5MW) thus reducing costs and improving efficiency. This will enable the future deployment of 100MW scale electrolyser systems.
• ITM Power will install and trial the semi-automated manufacturing machines required for large scale and high-volume manufacture of these large low-cost stacks. ITM Power will remove bottlenecks and validate a complete production system capable of delivering hundreds of megawatts of electrolysers per year (initial target 300MW/year, ramping to 1GW/year).
• Led by Orsted, the consortium will conduct a FEED study on the application of a 100MW electrolyser system, using renewable energy directly from Hornsea Two offshore wind farm, and supplying the resulting renewable hydrogen to the Phillips 66 Humber Refinery, where it will reduce CO2 emissions from the refinery by lowering the consumption of fossil-based hydrogen.
• The 100MW will be made up of 20MW electrolyser module systems, including all aspects of dynamics and integration of renewable hydrogen supply based on power from offshore wind.
• The study will consider the market and regulatory conditions required for the installation of up to (and potentially beyond) a 100MW-scale electrolyser.
(Source: Phillips 66)