Co-locating electrolysers with renewable generators (onshore and offshore)

Overview of the status and impact of the innovation



Locating electrolysers alongside renewable generation assets is an effective strategy for producing large quantities of green hydrogen. Co-located electrolysers and renewable power plants could operate together in isolation without a grid connection, or a grid connection could be added to increase the overall system flexibility and provide services for the power system, such as acting as a “dispatchable power plant”.

Studies show that levelised costs of hydrogen are lowest when electrolysers are co-located with onshore wind and solar PV, reaching EUR 4.1/kgH2 by 2025 (Aurora Energy Research, 2022). Electrolysers can also be located offshore to take advantage of large-scale offshore wind plants or ocean energy technologies; the hydrogen could be shipped to the shore or transported there by pipelines. Offshore electrolysers may have higher construction, operation and maintenance costs, thus necessitating careful planning to evaluate potential trade-offs. However, technological innovation is lowering costs. For example, Siemens Gamesa and Siemens Energy are integrating an electrolyser directly into an offshore wind turbine to create a single synchronised system for producing green hydrogen (Siemens Gamesa, 2022).


Co-locating electrolysers with onshore or offshore renewable power plants can substantially reduce costs and improve the business case for projects. This can reduce power losses due to longdistance electricity transmission or help avoid such losses, reduce network charges and help avoid the costs of building transmission lines. In addition, once hydrogen transport infrastructure is in place, electrolysers and renewable power plants could be co-located in remote areas with vast renewable resources, such as deserts or far offshore, making it possible to harness affordable renewable electricity and drive down the cost of renewable hydrogen even further.

BOX 9.17 Harnessing the power of the winds in Chile: The Haru Oni project

The Haru Oni project in the Magallanes region of Chile will deploy a 1.25 MW polymer electrolyte membrane electrolyser co-located with a 3.4 MW wind turbine to take advantage of the region’s abundant wind energy resources (Siemens Energy, 2023). Chile is one of a number of countries that could use their extensive renewable resources to become major producers and exporters of green hydrogen or its derivatives for a global market (Iakovenko, 2022).