Green Hydrogen from Wind Energy for Long-Duration Energy Storage in Alberta

  • Author / Creator
    Noel, William Donald
  • With continued growth in global carbon emissions, much of the developed world is curtailing its dependence on fossil fuels. Broad decarbonization will not come from a single source, but rather a combination of policy, technology, and innovation. Wind power has seen significant development in Canada, having over 6,700 operational turbines installed over the last decade. Increased investment into wind energy has lead to improvements in the technology, with wind turbines roughly doubling in height since the early 1990’s. In recent years, hydrogen has seen a resurgence in popularity as a low carbon energy carrier. Pairing existing wind farms with energy storage, such as hydrogen, could increase their electricity revenue through price arbitrage, or generate new revenue through selling the hydrogen. This work examines the opportunity to generate green hydrogen in Alberta using a wind-hydrogen hybrid plant. To do so, Alberta’s electricity market operations were forecast to 2030 using commercial market simulation software, Aurora, including hourly prices and unit dispatch. To better simulate price spikes, electricity price perturbations, achieved through time series decomposition of historic price signals, are administered as random shocks to the hourly price forecasts. Wind-hydrogen hybrid plant characteristics, capacity and operating schedule, are optimized using linear programming. Results of this work show some potential for wind-generated green hydrogen to be cost competitive with steam-methane reforming in the next decade, with some scenarios achieving levelized cost of green hydrogen below $2/kg. Regardless of market conditions, optimal electrolyser sizing is contingent on achieving a capacity factor between 40% and 60%. At current costs, energy arbitrage through hydrogen fuel cells is not financially viable.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2021
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.