Danish wind energy expert Vestas is partnering up with Windcat Workboats to launch a pilot program to explore how the world’s first hydrogen-powered crew transfer vessel (CTV) can help reduce carbon emissions from its offshore service operations. These are the boats that transport personnel working on offshore wind farms.
The hydrogen version, considered to be the first of its kind, is powered by a dual-fuel solution, capable of being powered by hydrogen in combination with marine gas oil. Hydrogen fuel contains no carbon, signaling the potential to significantly reduce carbon emissions while maintaining the same power output.
The new CTV holds the potential to generate a CO2 saving of 158 tonnes, an estimated saving of 37% less carbon emissions in comparison to a traditional vessel. The Danish company admits that at least during the initial phase, the vessel will be powered mostly by grey hydrogen due to a lack of available green hydrogen in the amounts needed. But the plan is to eventually mature a pathway for green hydrogen in its offshore operations that can be leveraged once green hydrogen has reached the required level of maturity.
The solution will be tested as part of a pilot program at the Northern Wind Farm and is planned to launch on 15 July. Running until the end of 2022, the program will offer the chance for Vestas to explore the most scalable approaches to incorporate hydrogen into its operational setup. The goal of the trial will be to collect insights into the opportunities and limitations of hydrogen-powered vessels in daily operations.
“This vessel, developed with our sister company CMB.TECH offers the industry a cost-effective solution to significantly reduce emissions from service vessels, which can be applied to any wind farm today. By using dual-fuel combustion engines, we can make hydrogen technology operational in the industry and kick-start further development of the technology, regulation, supply chain, etc. Collaborations like these are what is needed to be able to scale this technology further, and we thank Vestas for taking this first step,” says Willem van der Wel, Managing Director of Windcat Workboats.