Floating wind and green hydrogen — a perfect pairing?

Written by Nick Blenkey
Schematic of ERM Dolphyn

ERM Dolphyn technology would use offshore wind energy to produce green hydrogen.

A floating wind farm planned for offshore eastern Scotland could become the world’s first combined floating wind and green hydrogen project.

The 200 MW Salamander floating wind project is being developed by Irish blue energy developer Simply Blue Energy in joint venture partnership with Subsea 7, which acquired a minority stake in the project in March this year.

Today, Blue Energy reported that the project has signed a memorandum of understanding with London-headquartered consultancy ERM (Environmental Resources Management) for the potential use of its ERM Dolphyn hydrogen technology.

The project says it is also working closely with Scotland Gas Networks (SGN) to potentially integrate with and connect into a hydrogen infrastructure that SGN is aiming to develop as part of its decarbonization roadmap. SGN is the owner and operator of the gas distribution networks in Scotland and aims to develop and deploy a hydrogen economy in Aberdeen and the surrounding area.


The ERM Dolphyn is a first of a kind technology combining electrolysis, desalination and hydrogen production on a floating wind platform – with the hydrogen transported to shore via pipeline. It is an economic and scalable solution, which produces green hydrogen with no carbon emissions at the point of use.

The Salamander project has been investigating different routes to market since its inception and due to its advantageous location off Aberdeenshire the project believes producing green hydrogen is a very interesting option. Green hydrogen is viewed as a vital ingredient in achieving the “Net Zero” ambition of the U,K. Considering the huge multi-GW potential of floating wind in the U.K., pairing green hydrogen with floating wind is a very sensible option and an obvious solution to scaling up green hydrogen production.

Prior to being deployed in the Salamander project, ERM aims to undertake a 10 MW demonstration project, which would produce green hydrogen offshore and provide the first step needed to scale up at Salamander. The Salamander project and ERM Dolphyn will engage in further engineering work in the coming months to assess the potential deployment of the ERM Dolphyn technology within the Salamander project.

Adrian de Andres, Salamander Project Director, said: “When we started the Salamander project, we always envisioned a stepping-stone project and a catalyzer for future, bigger commercial opportunities. Considering the rapidly approaching 2030 deadline for the floating wind and green hydrogen targets, we now think the Salamander project could act not only as a stepping-stone for floating wind but also potentially for green hydrogen production, paving the way for multi-GW green hydrogen developments in the 2030s.”

Steve Matthews, Major Projects Director at ERM said: “We are delighted to enter into this memorandum of understanding with Simply Blue Energy and Subsea 7 for the Salamander project. Our ambition for ERM Dolphyn is to progress towards multi-GW, green hydrogen-producing floating wind farms over the next decade – in the UK, Europe and further afield. Salamander potentially provides an ideal first step for us and, with the valuable support of Government and industry, it will help position Scotland and the UK at the forefront of green hydrogen generation.”

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