Alma Clean Power introduces fuel cells as an alternative to electrification of the Norwegian continental shelf

Decarbonisation of the offshore continental shelf is a prerequisite for Norway to reach its climate goals. But electrification from land has pushed the electricity prices up and created challenges for the national grid and electricity supply. Alma Clean Power launched a new concept to meet the energy challenges during Arendalsuka (the largest annual political gathering in Norway) in August.

160 MW LR

By Annette Frotjold Published

Alma Clean Power seeks to solve the energy challenges in Norway in two ways:

- Replace conventional power plants offshore with equivalent zero emission systems so that the ongoing electrification of platforms with cables from land can be terminated.

- Build a power plant on land based on fuel cells with up to 300 MW capacity at Kollsnes (Bergen), and thus increase the electricity supply in the Bergen region significantly.

High temperature fuel cells (Solid Oxide Fuel Cells - SOFC) can produce electricity and heat from natural gas. The system has very high efficiency levels compared to conventional power plants and the possibility to capture CO2 in a very cost-effective manner. The result is zero emission energy from natural gas.

«Kollsnes is a well suited place to set up an environmentally friendly power plant based on fuel cells because of the existing natural gas plant, and the CO2-storage project Northern Lights which is currently under construction», said Bernt Skeie, CEO in Alma Clean Power.

«A fuel cell power plant is modularised and can be scaled up to meet an increasing energy demand. We envision that the first phase can be in operation by end of 2025».

A land based power plant is considered a good first step to demonstrate the Alma Clean Power concept at a large scale prior to building similar systems on offshore installations. Fuel cell systems with carbon capture will make offshore installations independent from electricity cables to land. Replacing gas turbines with fuel cells has the potential to reduce emissions offshore by up to 90%. Gas turbines exploit roughly one third of the energy in natural gas whereas a fuel cell module can double the efficiency, while producing concentrated heat.

Alma is supported with resources from Clara Venture Labs' (CVL) Project and Venture Support. CVL builds and supports ventures ensuring rapid growth and value creation on their way to become successful industrial companies.

Integrated Bo P
Offshore fuel cell module with 30 x 2 MW Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC)