On June 27, 2023, the Nantes-based startup Lhyfe announced that it had produced “green hydrogen” for the first time on a global scale from electricity supplied by a floating wind turbine off Le Croisic (Pays de la Loire region).
Installed a dozen miles off the French coast, this offshore hydrogen production facility, called SeaLhyfe, underwent eight months of tests on land before being sent out to sea on May 18, 2023. It was then connected in June to the SEM-REV test site, which has housed a floating wind turbine for five years.
This bright yellow platform, measuring 21 meters long and 14 meters wide, contains an electrolysis system capable of transforming seawater, desalinated on site, into hydrogen and oxygen, thanks to the electrical energy provided by the floating wind turbine located nearby.
This experimental production site is capable of producing 400kg of hydrogen per day, or one megawatt. It will stay on site for six months to a year to test the production of hydrogen in extreme conditions (salinity, swell, storms, etc.).
“Producing green hydrogen from offshore wind power has considerable potential for mass production and decarbonizing industry and transport more quickly,” said Matthieu Guesné, Founder and CEO of Lhyfe.
The startup has also just been awarded, within a consortium of nine businesses, a European call for tender worth €20 million, to coordinate the “Hope” project, a hydrogen production facility on a wind farm located off the coast of Ostend in Belgium. This site, which is set to be completed by 2026, will for the first time be connected to a pipeline that will bring hydrogen to land.
“Many manufacturers contact us to come and test the production of energy from the swell, currents or floating photovoltaic panels. The advantage of hydrogen is that it can be stored, unlike electricity,” highlighted Bertrand Alessandrini, CEO of the OPEN-C Foundation, which manages the SEM-REV test site created by Centrale Nantes.
Lhyfe, a startup founded in 2017 in Nantes (Pays de la Loire region), inaugurated its first production site in 2021 in Bouin (Pays de la Loire region), next to an onshore wind farm. The firm, which employs approximately 200 people, is building new production facilities in France (Brittany/Bretagne and Occitanie regions) and elsewhere in Europe (Germany and Sweden).
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