More hydrogen facilities and production are on the horizon as several companies announced this week plans for projects.

These include hydrogen producer Lhyfe and the Schaeffler Group’s plans to build a 15-megawatt (MW) green hydrogen production plant in Germany. Iberdrola and Abel Energy also have agreed to invest $1.17 billion to build a green hydrogen and methanol production plant on the island of Tasmania.

In the U.S., Woodside Energy has tapped Air Liquide for the engineering and fabrication of two 30-tonne liquefaction units at the energy company’s proposed H2OK hydrogen plant in Oklahoma.

Renewable fuels company Raven SR is teaming up with manufacturer Chart Industries to advance hydrogen and carbon capture, according to a news release.

Here’s a look at some of this week’s renewable energy news.


Origis Taps Mitsubishi for Battery Storage

Origis Energy, a Florida-based solar and energy storage developer, said Dec. 21 it has selected Mitsubishi Power Americas to deliver three utility-scale battery energy storage system (BESS) projects for solar photovoltaic facilities being developed in southeast U.S.

The three projects totaling 150 MW are scheduled to come online over the next two years as Origis deploys more than 1.5 gigawatts (GW) of projects for utilities, municipalities and electric cooperatives across the Southeast, the company said in a news release.

“Storage of renewably generated power is an increasingly important grid asset,” said Kenneth Kim, vice president of engineering and strategy planning for Origis Energy. “By adding the BESS solution to these facilities, we increase the value of the asset, adding enhanced grid solutions to clean, cost-effective solar power.”


Ørsted Reaches FID on FlagshipONE E-Methanol Project

Ørsted power plant facility in Denmark. (Source: Shutterstock)

Ørsted said Dec. 20 it has reached a final investment decision (FID) on the FlagshipONE e-methanol facility and taken full ownership of the project, having acquired the remaining 55% stake from Liquid Wind AB.

The move makes Ørsted the owner of Europe’s largest green e-methanol facility as it looks to decarbonize the world’s shipping industry.

Onsite construction of FlagshipONE, located in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, will begin in spring 2023 at the Övik Energi-operated Hörneborgsverket heat and power plant. E-methanol at the site will be produced using renewable electricity and biogenic CO₂ captured from Hörneborgsverket, a news release stated.

FlagshipONE will also use Hörneborgsverket’s steam, process water and cooling water. Excess heat created during the e-methanol production process will be integrated into Övik Energi’s district heating supply. 

The facility is expected to begin operations in 2025 and produce 50,000 tonnes of e-methanol a year.


Woodside Awards Air Liquide Liquefaction Contract for Oklahoma Project

Woodside Energy has tapped Air Liquide for the engineering and fabrication of two 30-tonne liquefaction units at the energy company’s proposed H2OK hydrogen plant in Oklahoma, according to a news release.

The contract for the equipment, which will liquefy hydrogen produced via electrolysis in preparation for storage, loading and transportation to customers, marks a significant milestone for the project, Woodside said. It aims to complete FEED activities by year-end.

Liquid hydrogen produced at the Ardmore, Oklahoma, facility will be used for fuel cell-powered commercial and heavy transport vehicles as companies look to decarbonize.

“Our customers are increasingly seeking out low-cost, lower-carbon sources of energy, such as hydrogen and ammonia,” Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill said in the release.

H2OK will become Woodside’s first global hydrogen production facility, if a final investment decision is reached, all required approvals are met and commercial arrangements are finalized. FID is expected in 2023.

Chart Industries, Raven Form Hydrogen, Carbon Capture Pact

Renewable fuels company Raven SR is teaming up with manufacturer Chart Industries to advance hydrogen and carbon capture, according to a news release.

The two companies announced their collaboration on Dec. 22, bringing together Raven’s expertise in producing transportation-grade hydrogen and synthetic fuels that include sustainable aviation fuels and Chart’s skills in equipment engineering design and manufacturing.

As part of the agreement, Chart will provide Raven engineering packages and equipment to enhance its flexibility in supplying hydrogen and CO2 as a product, the news release said.

“By partnering with Chart Industries, Raven SR will be able to optimize our facilities’ production of clean fuels, strengthening both project deployment and regional fuel supply,” said Raven CEO Matt Murdock. “As we expand globally, it is essential for Raven SR to collaborate with a world leader in hydrogen and carbon dioxide storage and transportation in order to increase energy efficiency throughout the supply chain.”

Iberdrola Partners with Abel for $1.17 Billion Australia Hydrogen Project

The Australian unit of Spanish utility Iberdrola and local developer Abel Energy have agreed to invest $1.17 billion to build a green hydrogen and methanol production plant at Bell Bay on the island of Tasmania.

Iberdrola said the facility, known as the Bell Bay Powerfuels Project, also has the Australian government’s backing.

The final decision to invest in delivering the full project will not be taken until 2024, an Iberdrola spokesperson said.

The scale of the plant, at 200,000 tonnes per year of green methanol for stage one, rising later to 300,000 tonnes per year, will make it one of the largest such projects in the world, Iberdrola said in a statement.

Green methanol is a fuel produced from CO2 and hydrogen using renewable electricity or from sustainable biomass. Green hydrogen, or hydrogen produced from water via electrolysis using renewable energy, is seen as a solution to decarbonizing heavy transport including commercial shipping and airlines and some other industries.

Lhyfe, Schaffler Group to Pursue Green Hydrogen Facility in Germany

France-based green hydrogen producer Lhyfe and the Schaeffler Group have agreed to work together to build a 15-MW green hydrogen production plant, according to a Dec. 19 news release.

The facility will be located on Schaeffler’s factory premises in Herzogenaurach, Germany. The goal, the release stated, is to supply potential customers such as municipalities and hydrogen filling stations in the region with about 3.7 tons of green hydrogen daily, starting 2025. Waste heat generated by electrolysis will be fed into the industrial processes within the plant.

“The rapid supply of green hydrogen continues to be a massive task,” said Luc Graré, head Lhyfe’s Central and Eastern Europe business. “Large-scale projects like the one by Schaeffler prove the readiness of the technology, provide confidence and security in the market and strengthen the appetite for investment.”


Lightsource BP Starts Up Solar Farm in Pennsylvania

Elk Hill
The 25-MW Elk Hill Solar 1 farm is located in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. (Source: Lightsource bp)

The Lightsource BP-operated $25 million Elk Hill Solar 1 farm in Pennsylvania has begun commercial operations, the company said Dec. 20, bringing its joint solar assets in the state to more than 42 MW.

Located in Franklin County, between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, the 25-MW solar farm is one of two farms that Lightsource BP has partnered on with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). Elk Hills 2 entered commercial operations in 2021.

The transit authority aims to lower CO2 emissions while meeting electricity demand. The solar farm is expected to lower greenhouse gas emissions by more than 28,000 metric tons of CO2 annually, equivalent to offsetting the emissions of 6,160 fuel burning cars, Lightsource BP said in a news release.

German Firm Signs Outline Deal on Bulgarian Solar Energy Park

German renewable energy company Profine Energy and the Bulgarian economy ministry on Dec. 20 signed a letter of intent on a 1 billion-euro floating photovoltaic park in Bulgaria, the economy ministry said Dec. 20.

If finalized, the investment could be one of the largest single renewable energy investments in Bulgaria.

The ministry’s statement said the company planned to overhaul the wall of a dam in northwestern Bulgaria and set up floating solar panels with an installed capacity of between 500 and 1,500 MW peak.

Profine Energy is a joint venture of vinyl window and door frames Profine Group and Wirth Group.

Zimbabwe Proposes Incentives for $1 Billion Solar Projects

Zimbabwe has proposed incentives to accelerate 1,000 MW of privately-owned solar energy projects worth about $1 billion, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube announced on Dec. 19, as the country scrambles to plug an electricity deficit that threatens to compound its economic woes.

The southern African country is generating about one-third of its 2,000 MW peak power demand and experiencing up to 18 hours of power outages daily after its main Kariba hydropower plant cut electricity generation due to low water levels. The country’s aging coal plants are prone to frequent breakdowns, impacting mines, industry and households.

Zimbabwe’s drive toward generating 1,100 MW from renewable energy sources by 2025 has been slowed by lack of investment by independent power producers spooked by the country’s currency volatility and uneconomic tariffs.

The Zimbabwe dollar has rapidly lost value, plunging from around 2.5 to the United States dollar when it was reintroduced in February 2019 after a decade of dollarization, to 673.42 against the greenback currently. The country’s power tariffs have also failed to keep track of inflation, which was 255% in November.


Vattenfall Wins Finland’s Tender to Build Major Wind Farm

Swedish wind developer Vattenfall is set to build and operate Finland’s first major wind farm after the company was selected by Finnish land and water manager Metsähallitus, according to a Dec. 20 news release.

The two companies have entered a joint venture with plans to invest between an estimated $2.1 billion and $3.2 billion to build the 1.3 GW Korsnäs wind farm off Finland’s west coast.

“With this project, Vattenfall is expanding its role in Finland; from one of the largest electricity retailers to a significant renewable energy producer,” Vattenfall Oy CEO Elina Kivioja said.

With production of about 5 TWh, the wind farm is expected to produce the renewable energy equivalent to the annual consumption of about 250,000 electricity heated individual houses in Finland, the release said.

Finland aims to reach net-zero emissions by 2035.

Rezolv Energy to Develop Two Wind Farms in Romania

Clean power producer Rezolv Energy said Dec. 19 it will build two onshore wind farms in Romania with a combined capacity of up to 600 MW.

Located in Romania’s Constanta County, the two wind farms will share the same grid connection point and generate enough energy to power more than 332,000 homes, Rezolv said in a news release.

With the planned project, the company’s third major deal since launching in August 2022, Rezolv has more than 2 GW of renewable energy projects under construction. Its other two projects are the 450-MW Vis Viva wind farm and 1,044 MW Arad solar farm.

“Low carbon has been stewarding the Adamclisi & Deleni projects since 2020, when the investor first entered the transaction with local developers and Nero Renewables NV,” the release stated. “Rezolv has now acquired a 51% stake in the projects, which are expected to reach financial close during the second half of 2023.”

Norway’s Hydro Plans Wind Farm to Power Industrial Plants

Norwegian aluminum maker Norsk Hydro and two partners said on Dec. 19 they plan to build an onshore wind farm costing between $304 million and $405 million on Norway’s west coast.

The plant, if approved, would have output of 1 terrawatt hour of electricity, providing renewable power to existing and future industry in the Hoeyanger and Sunnfjord region from 50 wind turbines.

Australia Opens First Zone for Offshore Wind Farms

Australia on Dec. 19 opened its first zone for developing offshore wind farms in a region off its southern coast, looking to jumpstart a new industry to help achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

As expected, the government selected the Gippsland coast off the state of Victoria for the first offshore wind power zone, where a $6 billion project that has been on the drawing board for a decade, known as Star of the South, will be located.

“Australia has huge potential in offshore wind and today the Albanese government is giving this industry a green light,” Energy Minister Chris Bowen said in a statement.

The government on Dec. 19 also awarded major project status to Star of the South, which will help fast-track approvals for the 2.2 GW offshore wind farm.

The project’s operator, also known as Star of the South, said if all went as planned it could start construction around 2025 and begin producing power around the end of the decade.

Reuters contributed to this article.

Editor’s note: Energy Transition in Motion will not be published next week in recognition of the holidays.