Uniper, one of Europe's largest power producers and a global gas trader, and Ørsted, the world market leader in the design, construction, and operation of offshore wind farms, are working together in the form of a strategic partnership. Both companies each have ambitious visions in the area of decarbonizing the industry to achieve the German climate targets. The transmission system operator TenneT stands ready as a partner to support them and, among other things, to realize the transport of wind power from sea to land.
In a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the companies Uniper and Ørsted have committed themselves to the goal of jointly developing offshore wind with hydrogen on a large scale. This is to be achieved in particular through a system-serving direct integration of hydrogen production from offshore wind power at the Wilhelmshaven site.
Axel Wietfeld, CEO of Uniper Hydrogen: "Germany and Europe must remain strong industrial locations – and at the same time achieve the ambitious climate protection targets. For this, we need "green electrons" and "green molecules". Through the strategic partnership with Ørsted, we have exactly the right setup to combine economic and ecological goals directly on site in Wilhelmshaven. By integrating offshore wind and hydrogen, we can significantly support industries such as the chemical, steel or transport sectors in their decarbonization. “
Jörg Kubitza, Germany Managing Director of Ørsted: "Green hydrogen from offshore wind power is the driver of German decarbonization, as it plays a key role for future climate neutrality. Therefore, Germany as an industrial location needs much more green electricity than previously planned. I am very pleased that in Uniper we have a partner at our side who will continue to push and promote the generation of renewable offshore wind power with us in order to be able to achieve Germany's climate targets.“
Tim Meyerjürgens, COO of TenneT: "Integrated planning of electricity and hydrogen will become the key factor in a successful energy transition. Electrolysis must take place where renewables are generated and available in sufficient quantities, namely primarily on the coasts. As a reliable partner in shaping the energy transition, TenneT stands ready to support Ørsted and Uniper in their ambitious goals."
Uniper began developing the "Wilhelmshaven Green Hydrogen" project in 2020. It is expected that an electrolysis plant with a capacity of 70 megawatts (MW) will be installed from 2025, to be expanded to 410MW by 2030. The renewable electricity required for the electrolysis will prospectively come from Ørsted offshore wind turbines. Thanks to the existing substations and its proximity to the coast, the Uniper site in Wilhelmshaven has all the necessary prerequisites to play a key role in the local energy transition. In addition, the direct conversion of renewable electricity into green hydrogen means that any power grid bottlenecks can be avoided.
Wilhelmshaven could develop into a hydrogen center for Lower Saxony and serve as an example for similar projects.
In addition, Uniper and Orsted are investigating CO2-free alternatives for stabilizing power grids, as well as green solutions for industrial customers with a high level of supply security – even in the event of possible dark periods.