This Thursday, Emmanuel Macron inaugurated the first offshore wind farm in Saint-Nazaire. One more step towards the generalization of renewable energies. And a few kilometers away, another breakthrough in wind power: the inauguration of the first offshore renewable hydrogen production site. A project of the Lhyfe company. It is perhaps the hope of a hydrogen fuel without CO2 emissions. At the dock, a yellow hexagon-shaped barge 20 meters long by 14 wide, 6 meters above the ground. And at the top, an electrolyser to transform seawater into hydrogen, thanks to wind electricity.
Produce clean fuel
“It’s the big yellow container that’s right in the middle. A container will process the electricity that comes from the wind turbine. It has to be processed to power the electrolyser. And on the other side, for the processing of the water, we will suck up the water, demineralize it to put it in our electrolyser”, explains the deputy general manager of Lhyfe, Antoine Hamon.
Water and wind which, according to him, “will make it possible, for example, to produce clean fuel for cars. In the water molecule, we have oxygen and hydrogen, and therefore by simply putting the electricity in the water, the hydrogen carries the energy which will then move your vehicle forward and only release water behind your vehicle”, he explains. For the time being, the 300-tonne barge remains in the port, for the final tests, but in the spring, it will head for the ocean, where it will be connected to a floating wind turbine.
The objective: to equip large offshore wind farms, such as the one inaugurated the same day in Saint-Nazaire. “It’s a pilot that will allow us to deploy this massively to be able to decarbonize industry, mobility and chemistry”, he promises. In the meantime, this barge can produce 400 kilos of hydrogen every day. Enough to power 100 hydrogen cars.