The Danish greentech company GreenGo Energy is cooperating with Ringkøbing-Skjern Municipality to develop a green energy park based on 4 GW of renewable hybrid solar and wind energy and a 2 GW electrolysis plant. The ambition is to produce over 1 million tons of green fuels annually.
COWI and Arkitema are consulting engineers on the Megaton project, which aims to build one of the world’s largest integrated energy parks by 2030.
On an area of 4,000 hectares in Ringkøbing-Skjern Municipality, GreenGo Energy will erect a 4 GW solar and wind power energy park. The large amounts of green power will be fed into a nearby plant, which will produce over one million tons of sustainable fuels annually via electrolysis and known chemical processes. This conversion from green power to green fuels is collectively referred to as Power-to-X.
An infrastructure project of this magnitude will, in addition to a significant contribution to Denmark’s green transition and direct contribution to achieving the 2030 goal of a 70-per-cent reduction in carbon emissions, create value in many new dimensions for the municipality.
Karsten Nielsen, CEO of GreenGo Energy, comments:
“With the Megaton project and the development of one of the world’s largest energy parks in Western Jutland, we will once again put Denmark on the world map as a leader in the transition to 100 per cent green power and the green fuels that are absolutely necessary to achieve the global climate goals towards 2050.” Karsten Nielsen continues: “We are pleased that the city council in Ringkøbing-Skjern Municipality is just as ambitious about the green transition as GreenGo Energy.”
The location is a big advantage
A crucial prerequisite for competitive large-scale Power-to-X projects is control of renewable energy in the necessary quantities and with the right pricing. It is also crucial to ensure year-round production of renewable energy so that the electrolysis runs optimally and gets as many operating hours as possible. This requires the right combination of solar energy and wind energy.
For some time, GreenGo Energy has worked closely with landowners and neighbours of the 350-hectare land adjacent to the future Stovstrup 400 kV substation east of Tarm – areas that the municipality has already designated for energy-intensive industries such as Power-to-X.
The selected location in Ringkøbing-Skjern Municipality benefits from complementary solar and wind production profiles, which increase the ability to balance the operation of the electrolysis so that it runs optimally all year round. And there are great advantages to being close to a major hub in the power grid.
Here you can handle and balance the large amounts of energy and overproduction on sunny days with wind, but you can also have an alternative to the planned strategy of using direct lines, where all production from the associated solar and wind farms is taken directly to the electrolysis plant.
“The location at the Stovstrup substation is ideal as an existing hub for power transmission with the 400 kV expansion, but also in light of the planned hydrogen pipeline to Europe, which is under development and is planned to be established by 2030. There are also ample amounts of wastewater available at Tarm. Water is often a scarce resource at major Power-to-X plants in Denmark and internationally. When using wastewater, the concept only becomes more circular,” says Anders Heine Jensen, Director of Power-to-X and Offshore Wind at GreenGo Energy, about the primary considerations in relation to the choice of location for GreenGo Energy’s first Megaton energy park.
The energy park will be a holistic green experience
COWI and Arkitema have contributed to developing a unique concept created for the energy park’s design and integration into the local environment – a concept that interacts with the local master plan.
In connection with the establishment of the energy park, all surplus soil will be used to build a hilly terrain landscape around the energy park to establish an organic curved ‘Power-to-X atoll’, a hilly island landscape that shields from views of the energy park from the surrounding landscape in the otherwise completely flat landscape area with fields and forest.
The surrounding hill landscape is planted with spruce, pine, grass and wildflowers to support and develop biodiversity and also establish a beautiful landscape carpet that surrounds the plant.
The concept directly supports the existing vision and master plan for Skjern and Tarm by establishing nature trails, mountain bike routes and nature playgrounds, including a lookout tower, from which a view of the entire energy park area and the surrounding energy production, which is an integral part of the energy park, is established. This creates a green and inviting total experience.
Lars Toghill, Vice President at COWI, comments:
“Our analyses during the concept development and the first design process of the Megaton project have shown that the location and the supporting elements give the project the right conditions we are looking for in competitive Power-to-X projects. It is primarily the dedicated portfolio of 4 GW wind and solar projects that can ensure power at competitive prices and efficient use of the plant. In addition, there are the obvious advantages of the location of the Stovstrup substation and the fact that we have a project area available that allows for a well-thought-out integration into the landscape.”
The 4 GW solar and wind projects will produce 11.5 Twh of green power annually – this corresponds to more than 30 per cent of Denmark’s current total power consumption. More than 85 per cent is expected to be consumed directly in the Megaton Energy Park for the production of green fuels.
The total investment in the Megaton project is expected to be around DKK 60 billion or more than the budget for two Great Belt Bridges. It is expected that 300-500 permanent local jobs will be created in connection with the energy park, renewable energy projects and spin-off companies that will be created by by-products such as surplus heat.