Locale : Global (English)

21 December 2021

Mott MacDonald is Power 2 Gas solutions contractor on North Sea Wind Power Hub Programme

Mott MacDonald is working as Power 2 Gas solutions contractor to the North Sea Wind Power Hub (NSWPH) Programme consortium1 and supporting their ambitious approach to integrating renewable energy in northern Europe. Mott MacDonald is supported by SLPE for the offshore structural design. The project focuses on addressing the main challenges to realising a first hub in the early 2030s and seeks to support governments and policy makers in their decision-making processes.

The NSWPH is a transnational, integrated approach and step-change to the current massive build out of offshore wind that is largely national, decoupled between energy sectors and incremental. With a total of 180GW offshore wind expected in the North Sea before 2050, the NSWPH aims to integrate and establish a collective approach through its “hub-and-spoke” concept, which would link together the energy systems of North-West Europe in one well-planned and coordinated network connecting large amounts of offshore wind.

With international cooperation, hybrid projects, such as the proposed hub, play a key role in integrating the planned large-scale deployment of offshore wind in Europe. Separate electrical connections have traditionally been used to connect wind farms to shore, and to connect countries to each other. In a hybrid project, interconnection and potentially electricity conversion is added, allowing for electrical connections from a wind farm to multiple countries. Combining these two functions means the connections are used more efficiently. The hub-and-spoke configuration also seeks to offer long-term flexibility by delivering electricity at a time when it is not sufficiently produced by renewables. This is achieved by converting sea water to green hydrogen, synthetic fuels and chemicals to decarbonise energy users that currently need fossil fuels, including chemical companies. The programme will also develop a clear set of guidelines to understand cost benefit analysis.

The NSWPH aims to establish an integrated approach for large scale offshore wind based green hydrogen production using water electrolysis to enable benchmark comparison and evaluation across a number of possible operational scenarios. The programme will see development of infrastructure, both electrical and hydrogen process, to connect the new wind farms planned for the North Sea to European onshore energy infrastructure. In its role, Mott MacDonald will develop a semi-optimised design for both the onshore and the offshore Power-2-Gas facilities to produce hydrogen. it will also provide insight to the consortium by identifying the design parameters most relevant for the optimisation of onshore and offshore systems, design targets and technology development strategies.

Ian Day, Mott MacDonald’s project director said: “We are excited to be working with the NSWPH consortium on this ambitious project that will deliver a collective, efficient approach to decarbonising domestic energy use across northern Europe. Our appointment builds on our work on the NortH2 project and our portfolio of work on large and complex system integration projects that need to be realised in and around the North Sea. These projects are critical to meeting net zero carbon ambitions in a more planned and sustainable way. We look forward to supporting the NSWPH to leverage the renewable potential of the area and ensure the generated energy can be seamlessly integrated into the mainland energy systems.”

Engineering of the preferred configuration is estimated to begin in the end of 2023, with operations of the first hub scheduled in the early ‘30s.


1. The North Sea Wind Power Hub consortium was founded in March 2017 and consists of the leading Transmission System Operators (TSOs) Energinet, Gasunie and TenneT.

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