Uniper, one of Europe's largest power producers and a global gas trader, and Ørsted, the world market leader in the design, construction, and operation of offshore wind farms, are working together in the form of a strategic partnership. Both companies each have ambitious visions in the area of decarbonizing the industry to achieve the German climate targets. The transmission system operator TenneT stands ready as a partner to support them and, among other things, to realize the transport of wind power from sea to land.
In a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the companies Uniper and Ørsted have committed themselves to the goal of jointly developing offshore wind with hydrogen on a large scale. This is to be achieved in particular through a system-serving direct integration of hydrogen production from offshore wind power at the Wilhelmshaven site.
Axel Wietfeld, CEO of Uniper Hydrogen: "Germany and Europe must remain strong industrial locations – and at the same time achieve the ambitious climate protection targets. For this, we need "green electrons" and "green molecules". Through the strategic partnership with Ørsted, we have exactly the right setup to combine economic and ecological goals directly on site in Wilhelmshaven. By integrating offshore wind and hydrogen, we can significantly support industries such as the chemical, steel or transport sectors in their decarbonization. “
Jörg Kubitza, Germany Managing Director of Ørsted: "Green hydrogen from offshore wind power is the driver of German decarbonization, as it plays a key role for future climate neutrality. Therefore, Germany as an industrial location needs much more green electricity than previously planned. I am very pleased that in Uniper we have a partner at our side who will continue to push and promote the generation of renewable offshore wind power with us in order to be able to achieve Germany's climate targets.“
Tim Meyerjürgens, COO of TenneT: "Integrated planning of electricity and hydrogen will become the key factor in a successful energy transition. Electrolysis must take place where renewables are generated and available in sufficient quantities, namely primarily on the coasts. As a reliable partner in shaping the energy transition, TenneT stands ready to support Ørsted and Uniper in their ambitious goals."
Uniper began developing the "Wilhelmshaven Green Hydrogen" project in 2020. It is expected that an electrolysis plant with a capacity of 70 megawatts (MW) will be installed from 2025, to be expanded to 410MW by 2030. The renewable electricity required for the electrolysis will prospectively come from Ørsted offshore wind turbines. Thanks to the existing substations and its proximity to the coast, the Uniper site in Wilhelmshaven has all the necessary prerequisites to play a key role in the local energy transition. In addition, the direct conversion of renewable electricity into green hydrogen means that any power grid bottlenecks can be avoided.
Wilhelmshaven could develop into a hydrogen center for Lower Saxony and serve as an example for similar projects.
In addition, Uniper and Orsted are investigating CO2-free alternatives for stabilizing power grids, as well as green solutions for industrial customers with a high level of supply security – even in the event of possible dark periods.
Uniper is an international energy company with around 12,000 employees in more than 40 countries. The company plans to make its power generation CO2-neutral in Europe by 2035. With about 35 GW of installed generation capacity, Uniper is among the largest global power generators. Its main activities include power generation in Europe and Russia as well as global energy trading, including a diversified gas portfolio that makes Uniper one of Europe’s leading gas companies. In 2020, Uniper had a gas turnover of more than 220 bcm. Uniper is also a reliable partner for municipalities, public utilities, and industrial companies for developing and implementing innovative, CO2-reducing solutions on their way to decarbonizing their activities. As a pioneer in the field of hydrogen, Uniper has set itself the target of operating worldwide along the entire value chain in the future and implementing projects that will make hydrogen the mainstay of the future energy supply. The company is headquartered in Düsseldorf and currently the third-largest listed German utility. Together with its main shareholder Fortum, Uniper is also the third-largest producer of CO2-free energy in Europe.
The Ørsted vision is a world that runs entirely on green energy. Ørsted develops, constructs, and operates offshore and onshore wind farms, solar farms, energy storage facilities, and bioenergy plants, and provides energy products to its customers. Ørsted ranks as the world's most sustainable energy company in Corporate Knights' 2021 index of the Global 100 most sustainable corporations in the world and is recognised on the CDP Climate Change A List as a global leader on climate action. Headquartered in Denmark, Ørsted employs 6,472 people. Ørsted's shares are listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen (Orsted). In 2020, the group's revenue was DKK 52.6 billion (EUR 7.1 billion).
TenneT is a leading European grid operator. We are committed to providing a secure and reliable supply of electricity 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, while helping to drive the energy transition in our pursuit of a brighter energy future – more sustainable, reliable and affordable than ever before. In our role as the first cross-border Transmission System Operator (TSO) we design, build, maintain and operate 23,900 km of high-voltage electricity grid in the Netherlands and large parts of Germany, and facilitate the European energy market through our 16 interconnectors to neighbouring countries. We are one of the largest investors in national and international onshore and offshore electricity grids, with a turnover of EUR 4.5 billion and a total asset value of EUR 27 billion.
Every day our 5,700 employees take ownership, show courage and make and maintain connections to ensure that the supply and demand of electricity is balanced for over 42 million people. Lighting the way ahead together.