The Anonymous Widower

Further Thoughts On BP’s Successful INTOG Bid

I have been searching the web and I feel BP’s successful INTOG bid may be different.

In 13 Offshore Wind Projects Selected In World’s First Innovation And Targeted Oil & Gas Leasing Round, I decided that BP’s bid, which only was for 50 MW of offshore wind would generate hydrogen and send it to shore through the Forties Pipeline System, which is owned by INEOS.

My reasons for feeling that it would generate hydrogen were as follows.

  • In the wider picture of wind in the North Sea, BP’s proposed 50 MW wind farm is a miniscule one. SSE Renewables’s Dogger Bank wind farm is over a hundred times as large.
  • A cable to the shore and substation for just one 50 MW wind farm would surely be expensive.
  • BP Alternative Energy Investments are also developing a 2.9 GW wind farm some sixty miles to the South.
  • It would probably be bad financial planning to put large and small wind farms so close together.

I still believe for these and other reasons, that there is no reason to believe that the proposed 50 MW wind farm is a traditional wind farm and most likely it will be paired with an appropriately-sized electrolyser producing around twenty tonnes of hydrogen per day.

But instead of being sent ashore by using the Forties Pipeline System, could this hydrogen be sent directly to the coast near Aberdeen, in its own personal hydrogen pipeline?

  • Using a variety of maps, I have estimated the distance at only around twenty miles.
  • With all the experience from BP and their suppliers, there must be a solution for a relatively short hydrogen pipeline.

I also found this scientific paper on ScienceDirect, which is entitled Dedicated Large-Scale Floating Offshore Wind To Hydrogen: Assessing Design Variables In Proposed Typologies, which talks about three different layouts.

  • Centralised Onshore Electrolysis
  • Decentralised Offshore Electrolysis
  • Centralised Offshore Electrolysis

All would appear to be feasible.

There is a lot of information in the scientific paper and it leads me to the conclusion, that hydrogen could be generated offshore and transferred by pipeline to storage on the shore.

The paper shows a design for a submarine hydrogen pipeline and schematics of how to design a system.

I believe that BP’s proposed system could deliver around twenty tonnes of hydrogen per day to the shore.

The system could be as simple as this.

  • A few large floating wind turbines would be positioned offshore, perhaps twenty miles from shore.
  • Perhaps 5 x 10 MW, 4 x 12 MW turbines or 3 x 16 MW could be used. Deciding would be one of those calculations, that combines accountancy, data, engineering and finance, which are great fun.
  • The offshore distance would be carefully chosen, so that complaints about seeing them from the shore would be minimised.
  • The generated electricity would be collected at a floating electrolyser, where hydrogen would be created.
  • The hydrogen would be pumped to the shore.
  • The floating electrolyser could also contain hydrogen storage.

I think there is large scope for innovation.

  • I can imagine drones and helicopters delivering equipment and personnel to service the electrolyser.
  • Underwater hydrogen storage could be developed.
  • A standard system could be developed for rolling out anywhere.
  • It could be placed in the sea, by a steelworks or other large hydrogen user.

In its own right the concept would develop new markets, which is one of the wind farm’s aims.

Could This Be The Route To Create Affordable Hydrogen For All?

BP would be failing their customers, employees and shareholders, if they weren’t developing a zero-carbon alternative to diesel and petrol.

Offshore hydrogen electrolysers strategically placed along the coastline, could provide a reliable hydrogen supply to a that sizeable proportion of the world’s population, who live near to the coast.

Could The Technology Be Adapted To Motorway And Large Service Stations?

This document on the UK Government web site, gives the mileage statistics of lorries (HGVs) and has this sub-heading.

In 2019 lorries travelled 17.4 billion vehicle miles, remaining broadly stable (increasing slightly by 0.3%) compared with 2018.

It breaks this figure down, by the class of road.

  • Motorways – 8.0 – 46 %
  • A Roads – 6.3 – 36 %
  • Rural Minor Roads – 0.9 – 5 %
  • Urban A Roads – 1.5 – 9 %
  • Urban Minor Roads – 0.7 – 4 %

Note that 82 % of HGV mileage is on Motorways or A roads. Anybody, who has ever driven a truck bigger than a Ford Transit over a distance of upwards of fifty miles, knows that trucks and vans regularly need to be fuelled up on the road. And that applies to the drivers too, who also by law must take a break, away from the cab.

Charging an electric truck could be a lengthy business and would require service stations to be connected directly to the nation grid and be fitted with a substantial number of heavy duty chargers.

One thing, that would be difficult with an electric truck, would be a Splash-and-Dash, if a truck was nearing the destination  and needed a small amount of charging to meet delivery schedules.

Because of the distances involved, the driving rules, the often tight schedules and the fast filling, I am convinced that there will be a large proportion of hydrogen-powered trucks and vans on the road and these will need a network of service stations where hydrogen is available.

Look at these overhead view of South Mimms Services, where the M25 and the A1(M) cross to the North of London.


I would envisage that at least four 10 MW wind turbines, which have a rotor diameter of around 160-190 metres could be dotted around and inside the site including inside the roundabout.

  • The electrolyser would be slightly smaller than that which would be used at Aberdeen.
  • Perhaps fifteen tons per day of hydrogen could be generated.
  • No hydrogen needed on the site would ever be brought in by truck.
  • Wind-generated electricity could also power the hotels, restaurants and the service station.
  • As the percentage of vehicles running on fossil fuels decreased, the air quality in the area of the service station, should increase.
  • How many people, who lived locally would switch to a hydrogen-powered runabout and fill it up perhaps once a week, when they passed?

Much of the technology needed to add a hydrogen option to a typical large service station has already been developed and some would also be needed to build BP’s 50 MW offshore wind farm with an electrolyser.





March 26, 2023 - Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] Further Thoughts On BP’s Successful INTOG Bid […]

    Pingback by 13 Offshore Wind Projects Selected In World’s First Innovation And Targeted Oil & Gas Leasing Round « The Anonymous Widower | March 26, 2023 | Reply

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