The Anonymous Widower

Will Orkney Become A Major Green Hydrogen Production Centre?

Two projects seem to be coming together to the West of and on Orkney.

The West Of Orkney Wind Farm

This map shows the awarded leases in the latest ScotWind round, which I analysed in ScotWind Offshore Wind Leasing Delivers Major Boost To Scotland’s Net Zero Aspirations.

Note the wind farm numbered 13 to the West of Orkney.

  • It is now called the West of Orkney wind farm.
  • It has its own web site.

This page on the web site describes the project.

The West of Orkney Windfarm is being developed around 30km off the west coast of Orkney and around 25km from the north Caithness coast. With an expected capacity of 2GW, and first power scheduled for 2029, the project will be capable of powering the equivalent of more than two million homes.

The West of Orkney Windfarm lies wholly within the “N1” Plan Option, which is one of 15 areas around Scotland which the Scottish Government considered suitable for the development of commercial scale offshore windfarms. The Scottish Government published the Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind Energy in October 2020 following over two years of extensive analysis, consideration and engagement with a wide range of stakeholders.

In January 2022 OWPL were successful in securing an Option Agreement from Crown Estate Scotland for the project in the ScotWind leasing process.

The West of Orkney Windfarm has a grid connection agreement with National Grid for a connection in Caithness. Additionally, the project partners are exploring an option to power the Flotta Hydrogen Hub. There is the potential for both power export options to be utilised.

The project is currently considering both fixed-bottom foundations and floating substructures for the wind turbines.

The West of Orkney wind farm will be one of the largest offshore wind farms in Scotland.

The Flotta Hydrogen Hub

The Flotta Hydrogen Hub is described on its web site.

This section describes the low carbon ambition of the Flotta Hydrogen Hub.

This potential £multi-billion project would utilise a repurposed area of the existing Flotta Terminal to create a green hydrogen hub powered by offshore wind projects in the seas to the west of Orkney.

If successful, this ambitious plan – which could be realised in the later years of this decade – would deliver a new wave of renewable employment alongside significant quantities of green hydrogen.

This hydrogen could be exported to Europe or other destinations, blended into the gas grid at St Fergus and drive forward an international maritime green hydrogen refueling hub.

If realised, the Flotta Hydrogen Hub would contribute significantly to the UK’s low carbon ambitions, sustain and create long-term skilled jobs and place Scotland at the front of the global hydrogen revolution.

The proposal is supported locally by EMEC Hydrogen which has spearheaded Orkney’s leading position in green hydrogen production.

It is certainly a comprehensive vision.

I have my thoughts.

Will The West Of Orkney Wind Farm Have Fixed Foundations Or Floating Substructures?

If you look on the map earlier in this post, you will notice a cluster of wind farms at the North of Scotland.

  • 7 – DEME Concessions Wind – 200 km² – 1.0 GW – Floating
  • 8 – Falck Renewables Wind – 256 km² – 1.0 GW – Floating
  • 9 – Ocean Winds – 429 km² – 1.0 GW – Fixed
  • 13 – Offshore Wind Power – 657 km² – 2.0 GW – Fixed or Floating
  • 14 – Northland Power – 390 km² – 1.5 GW – Floating
  • 15 – Magnora – 103 km² – 0.5 GW – Floating

Given that floating wind farms outnumber those on fixed foundations, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the West of Orkney wind farm, built as a floating wind farm.

Where Is Flotta?

This Google Map shows the North of Scotland and the Southern part of Orkney.


  1. Flotta and its Oil Terminal in the North-East corner of the map.
  2. John o’Groats in the South-East corner of the map.
  3. The ferry between Scrabster and Orkney.
  4. Dounreay in the South-West corner of the map.

The West of Orkney Windfarm web site says that the wind farm is being developed around 30km off the west coast of Orkney and around 25km from the north Caithness coast.

This Google Map shows the island of Flotta.


  1. The oil terminal is clearly visible.
  2. Will it get tight for space on the island of Flotta, if they need a tank farm for all the hydrogen?
  3. I suspect that a pipeline to deliver hydrogen elsewhere, would have a high priority!

This Google Map shows the Caithness coast in more detail.


  1. Thurso and Scrabster are at the East of the map.
  2. The former nuclear research at Dounreay, is in the South-West corner of the map.

This article on the Stornaway Gazette is entitled SSE Plan To Bypass Isles Condemned and has this sub-title.

The Western Isles could be massively disadvantaged for decades to come if Scottish and Southern Energy are allowed to take power from offshore windfarms direct to a hub at Dounreay in Caithness.

This appears to indicate that West of Orkney wind farm and others in the area could be connected to the National Grid using a sub-station at Dounreay.

What Will Be The Capacity Of The Flotta Hydrogen Hub?

As I said previously, if the Flotta Hydrogen Hub is well-designed, possibly with a pipeline to take hydrogen out, that the Flotta Hydrogen Hub will have limitations on how much hydrogen it can produce due to the site size.

So the limitation of the capacity of the Flotta Hydrogen Hub will depend on the size of the electrolyser and how much electricity can be fed from the West of Orkney wind farm and possibly other wind farms to the site.

The West of Orkney wind farm has a capacity of 2 GW.

The other site that could possibly be connected would be Northland’s 1.5 GW wind farm in ScotWind N2.

Note that the combined area of these two wind-farms would be a 33 km square.

This Google Map shows the North of Scotland, Orkney, Shetland and the Faroe Islands.


  1. The distance between Cape Wrath and John o’Groats is just over 100 km.
  2. There is nothing to the West of Orkney, except a few rocky stacks, sea, fish and sea-birds.
  3. I could see the West of Orkney wind farm and the one Northland are building in the ScotWind N2 being extended further out.

A 100 km square would hold about 13.5 GW of floating turbines, so lets say that a round 10 GW could be cabled to Orkney.

Could The West of Orkney Wind Farm And ScotWind N2 Use Identical Technology?

I wouldn’t be surprised if this happened and a massive floating wind farm expanded to the North and West.

The capacity of the wind farm could be upwards of 10 GW.

How Much Hydrogen Could Be Produced In The Flotta Hydrogen Hub?

In Can The UK Have A Capacity To Create Five GW Of Green Hydrogen?, I said the following.

Ryze Hydrogen are building the Herne Bay electrolyser.

  • It will consume 23 MW of solar and wind power.
  • It will produce ten tonnes of hydrogen per day.

The electrolyser will consume 552 MWh to produce ten tonnes of hydrogen, so creating one tonne of hydrogen needs 55.2 MWh of electricity.

A GW of electricity for a year is 8760 GWh, which would produce over 150,000 tonnes of hydrogen.


This plan could generate huge amounts of green hydrogen on Orkney.



May 9, 2022 - Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , ,


  1. Interesting news. Just a thought, which might seem pedantic, but I can assure you from personal experience isn’t regarded that way by Orkney residents: Orkney residents absolutely hate Orkney being referred to as “The Orkneys” – they point out that there’s only one Orkney which contains lots of islands – someone asked me how I would like it if they referred to where I come from as “The Londons”!
    This trap for the unwary is right up there with ordering a “Scotch” in a Scottish pub – “That’ll be a whisky I presume” – personal experience again. I’ve lived in Scotland for 46 years now so usually manage to get it right!

    Comment by Ian Budd | May 9, 2022 | Reply

  2. I’ll change it. But as someone, who has lived in East Anglia and has been frequently to Hertfordshire, you get groups of villages, which are called by the common part of their name. I used to live in the Thurlows. Suffolk too, tends to refer to the pub by the village and name, as in Clopton Crown, Charsfield Horseshoes or Freston Boot.

    Different parts of the country use different rules.

    Comment by AnonW | May 9, 2022 | Reply

  3. […] Will The Orkneys Become A Major Green Hydrogen Production Centre? […]

    Pingback by Could Fortescue Future Industries’ Green Hydrogen Help Europe Ditch Russian Energy? « The Anonymous Widower | May 9, 2022 | Reply

  4. Given transmission is already a constraint for shifting power from North to South of Scotland and into England it makes sense to switch many of these new wind farms into producing hydrogen out on the farms. So rather than building expensive offshore transformer substation, EHV cable links and associated onshore substations substitute electrolysers and pipelines to gathering terminals.

    Comment by Nicholas Lewis | May 14, 2022 | Reply

    • Magnora would appear to be doing that with their wind farm to the North-West of the Hebrides, with the turbines surrounding a concrete floater.

      ScotWind N3 Offshore Wind Farm

      Comment by AnonW | May 14, 2022 | Reply

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