Project SHOWPLACE - University of Houston
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Project Objectives

Project SHOWPLACE ( Storing Hydrogen from Offshore Wind Power for Load-balancing and Carbon Elimination) Texas Gulf Coast is an Industry-Government-Public-Academia collaborative demonstration project that aims to establish the commercial feasibility of synergies between offshore wind power & hydrogen generation & storage. Key concept elements include re-purposing existing offshore Gulf of Mexico oil and gas platforms and pipelines into green hydrogen hubs. The SHOWPLACE concept envisions installing floating or fixed (to platform) wind turbines to generate electric power that will be connected to the onshore electric grid. Any excess wind power will be utilized to generate freshwater via desalination and hydrogen via freshwater electrolysis.

The generated hydrogen will be transported to shore for use as industrial feedstock or for power generation; any hydrogen in excess of demand will be stored in subsurface geological reservoirs and produced as required by demand. The project also envisions transporting freshwater to shore as demand develops. SHOWPLACE will develop a comprehensive roadmap that will allow replication of the demonstration project at multiple locations across the Gulf of Mexico. This roadmap will also address key enabling elements such as:

  • Ocean observing systems
  • Hydrogen safety
  • STEM curriculum and workforce retraining programs
  • Community engagement, economic growth, and job creation opportunities
  • Regulatory requirements
Dr. Ram Seetharam - Energy Center Officer, UH Energy
Project Leader: Dr. Ram Seetharam

Energy Center Officer
UH Energy

PROJECT DETAILS

The SHOWPLACE concept offers multiple potential advantages. Capital outlay is expected to be reduced by the reuse of installed infrastructure. Long term energy storage via hydrogen and freshwater will enables utilization of all available wind power (zero curtailment goal). The Project will leverage the active hydrogen economy in Texas Gulf Coast and offers multiple revenue streams (power, hydrogen fresh water) with potential for revenue optimization.

All of the individual technologies that make up the SHOWPLACE concept are generally proven; the key challenge is developing a cost-effective combination of these proven technologies offshore. It is also expected that this concept will be scalable across the Texas Gulf Coast with accompanying cost reductions. There is also significant benefits from leveraging the skilled energy industry workforce in Texas Gulf Coast, as well as learnings from similar projects that are being envisioned globally.

Project work will be carried out using federal and state funding with relevant domain expertise for each of the 6 key technical modules that make up the project:

  • MODULE 1 Wind Power Generation
  • MODULE 2 Power Transmission Systems
  • MODULE 3 Freshwater Generation, Storage and Supply
  • MODULE 4 Hydrogen Generation & Utilization
  • MODULE 5 Hydrogen Storage
  • MODULE 6 Offshore Infrastructure

Each module will also include foundational aspects such as data analytics, digitalization, safety, and environmental considerations.

PROJECT DELIVERABLES

PHASE 1 | Concept Selection | 12 MONTHS

  • Concept validation, preliminary economics, and a business plan
  • Technology research, development, and qualification plans
  • Roadmap for policy (business, public and regulatory)
  • Alignment and buy-in from “customers”
  • Plan for community engagement and education

PHASE 2 | Detailed Engineering | 24 MONTHS

  • Selection of offshore pilot location and implementation partner
  • Technical design, cost, economics, and implementation schedule
  • Plans to integrate into power and hydrogen grids
  • Preliminary regulatory alignment and approvals
  • Public acceptance and training plans

PHASE 3 | Demonstration Project | 24 MONTHS

Featured Assets and Articles

ADDITIONAL PROJECT ASSETS

  • Project SHOWPLACE
  • Project Overview
  • Project Objectives, Details, and Deliverables
  • Project SHOWPLACE Collaborative (SPC) Meetings
  • SPC Meeting | March 11, 2022 Presentation
  • SPC Meeting | February 4, 2022 Presentation
  • Project SHOWPLACE Concept Workshop - Sept. 2021
  • Over 30 representatives from industry and academia attended a 2-day workshop hosted by UH Energy on their new hydrogen program SHOWPLACE. Experts presented on the main modules that make up SHOWPLACE –Wind Power Generation, Power Transmission to Shore, Freshwater Generation by Desalination, Hydrogen Generation by Electrolysis, Hydrogen Storage, and Offshore Infrastructure. Plans were made to form working groups to refine concept design for each of these modules.
  • Concept Workshop Slide Presentation
  • Concept Workshop Agenda

COLLABORATORS AND ADVISERS

UH Energy has organized an industry-academia collaborative called SHOWPLACE Collaborative (SPC) to serve as an advisory board to advance the hydrogen program. Initially, the SPC will advise UH Energy Project SHOWPLACE as we refine the concept and develop plans for the engineering design phases for the six modules of the project. SPC will also guide UH Energy in developing proposals for federal and state funding for this and other hydrogen projects.