The world’s first offshore hydrogen production unit has been launched, aiming to demonstrate the reliability of an electrolyser at sea.

After completing dockside tests, the Sealhyfe hydrogen production facility will be connected to BW Ideol’s floating wind unit, which has been in operation at the Ecole Centrale de Nantes’ SEM-REV site off France’s west coast for the past four years.


Ecole Centrale di Nantes’ SEM-REV site Photo: Centrale Nantes

“Lhyfe’s project is an important and much needed step towards the development of integrated and autonomous renewable power production systems, using floating wind and green hydrogen in this specific instance,” said Paul de la Guérivière, chief executive of BW Ideol.

“Being the floating wind asset owner and being responsible for the day-to-day operations and maintenance of the asset, we look forward to studying all aspects of the interaction between the wind turbine and the hydrogen production system. This added return on experience will further contribute to BW Ideol’s unique preparedness for the development and execution of future commercial-scale deployments.”

Engineering school Ecole Centrale de Nantes has an ambition to make offshore renewable hydrogen a reality, said director Jean-Baptiste Avrillier.

“This world premiere is a source of great pride for the school,” he said. “This ambitious project confirms the role of our SEM-REV site in accelerating the development of renewable marine energies and the active contribution of the school to meet the challenges of energy transition.”