Ammonia from Offshore Wind: a techno-economic review on the US East Coast

A new study examines the technologies needed to produce renewable ammonia from offshore wind in the US, and analyzes the lifetime economics of such an operation.

This is the latest in a years-long series of papers by a team of researchers from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). And it is by far the closest they have come to establishing sustainable ammonia as being cost-competitive with fossil ammonia.

Ammonia production with offshore wind power has the potential to transform energy and fertilizer markets within the United States … This work reviews the technologies required for all-electric, wind-powered ammonia production and offers a general design of such a system … A case study for a utility-connected, all-electric ammonia plant in the Gulf of Maine is used to assess the lifetime economics of such a system.

The results show that significant utility grid backup is required for an all-electric ammonia plant built with present-day technologies. A sensitivity analysis showed that the total levelized cost of ammonia is driven in large part by the cost of producing electricity with offshore wind.
McGowan et al, Sustainable Ammonia Production from U.S. Offshore Wind Farms: A Techno-Economic Review, 10/19/2017

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