Preliminary work is underway to add another phase to the Dogger Bank wind farm off the British coast, the largest in the world, partners announced Monday.
Norwegian energy company Equinor and Dublin-based SSE Renewables are equal partners in Dogger Bank. The companies are considering their options to add another 1.32 gigawatts of capacity offshore to add to the 3.6GW already in the construction phase.
"At SSE Renewables we're focused on delivering and building a homegrown energy system for the U.K. that is cheaper, cleaner and more secure," said Paul Cooley, the director of offshore wind at SSE Renewables. "That's why we're taking action to develop more of the new offshore wind energy needed to radically increase renewable generation."
Apart from general development issues, partners said they're considering whether to designate the additional power capacity for the grid or use it to produce so-called green hydrogen.
Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe and a potent energy carrier. Production processes are described using a color spectrum. The most common form today is grey hydrogen, which involves splitting methane into its elemental components of hydrogen and carbon.
Green hydrogen uses renewable energy to power an electric current that splits water into oxygen and hydrogen, with almost no carbon emissions at all.
"We're in the early stages of looking at the technical feasibility of the grid and also hydrogen options for a potential fourth phase of Dogger Bank wind farm, and we're looking forward to working with local, national and regional stakeholders over the coming months as we progress the project," project director Oliver Cass said.
Green hydrogen is still in the niche phase and proponents question whether or not the renewable energy used in the process would be better used on the grid.
Dogger Bank is located about 120 miles off the coast of England. Preliminary work began more than a decade ago.