Hydrogen plants get backing
TWO new hydrogen production and distribution plants to be built in South Australia will produce hydrogen for the grid using renewable energy. Hydrogen Utility’s (H2U) $117.5 million 15 megawatt (MW) renewable hydrogen electrolyser plant will be built on the Eyre Peninsula to provide balancing services to the national transmission grid and fast frequency response support to new solar plants. The project will be partially funded by a $4.7 million grant and $7.5 million loan from South Australia’s Renewable Technology Fund. An $11.4 million hydrogen demonstration plant – Hydrogen Park SA – will also be built at the Adelaide Tonsley Innovation District by Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG). The plant, which received a $4.9 million grant from the State Government, will comprise a 1.25MW Siemens PEM electrolyser to produce hydrogen utilising electricity from the grid and potentially on-site solar. The hydrogen will then be distributed into the local gas network to provide low-carbon gas to consumers. AGIG chief customer officer Andrew Staniford said Hydrogen Park SA will begin production in mid-2020 and would propel South Australia’s status as a leader in renewable energy technology. “Hydrogen is an emerging industry, with real potential to develop into a global commodity utilised by homes, business, industry and vehicles,” Mr Staniford said. “Given the early nature of the technology, it is key to bring together Government, industry and researchers in one facility to work together to ensure these opportunities are realised and to educate and train our community. “Our hydrogen Centre of Excellence (COE) will capture and report on the learnings across the Hydrogen Park-sa project.” South Australia Energy minister Tom Koutsantonis said more renewable energy meant cheaper power, and the ability to store renewables would allow the benefits of that cheap power to be “experienced around the clock”. “Hydrogen also offers an opportunity to create a new industry in South Australia where we can export our sun and wind resources to the world,” Mr Koutsantonis said.
AGIG chief customer officer Andrew Staniford.