Australian Gas Networks (AGN) has officially opened its $14.5 million Hydrogen Park South Australia (HyP SA) production facility near Adelaide and commenced blending hydrogen based on renewable energy into the existing gas distribution grid for the first time in Australia.
HyP SA, located south of Adelaide at the Tonsley Innovation District, came online on Wednesday and is now delivering a blend of approximately 5% renewable hydrogen and natural gas to 700 homes in the Adelaide suburb of Mitchell Park.
AGIG chief executive officer Ben Wilson labelled HyP SA the largest renewable gas project in Australia and said the successful completion of the facility is an important milestone in South Australia’s renewable energy journey.
“HyP SA is an Australian first and one of only a few projects in the world to deliver a renewable gas blend to homes connected to an existing gas network,” he said.
“The hydrogen produced at HyP SA shows how we can use the state’s abundant solar and wind resources to deliver carbon-free gas to homes and businesses.”
HyP SA features a 1.25 MW Siemens proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser. AGN, which is part of Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG), said it is the largest electrolyser in Australia and is capable of producing up to 480kg of hydrogen per day or approximately 175 tonnes of hydrogen per annum, equal to the total gas use of around 1,500 South Australian homes.
The HyP SA facility also includes tube-trailer refilling infrastructure which will allow renewable hydrogen to be transported by road to industrial customers via an agreement with project partner BOC.
“HyP SA (provides) the template for the conversion of our entire gas network to safely and efficiently distribute renewable hydrogen to our customers. We are now focused on developing plans to deliver a complete carbon-free gas supply for our customers,” Wilson said.
Minister for Energy Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the project, which received a $4.9 million grant from the SA Government’s Renewable Technology Fund, aligns with the government’s plans to deliver cleaner, more affordable energy to South Australian households and businesses.
“Green hydrogen is a fuel of the future and will play an important role in helping achieve our goals of 100% net renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50% in South Australia by 2030,’’ he said.
“The outcomes of this project are part of the State Government’s ambition to blend up to 10% renewable hydrogen in South Australia helping to drive domestic demand and consumption.
“Importantly, there is no additional cost to customers who will receive the blended 5% renewable gas as part of this project and the change will not impact any arrangements they have with their existing natural gas retailer.
HyP SA is one of several renewable hydrogen projects AGIG is developing.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) earlier this month announced AGIG would receive up to $32.1 million in funding for a 10 MW electrolyser at the Murray Valley Hydrogen Park – which it is developing in partnership with Engie – in Wodonga, Victoria.
AGIG also secured up to $28.7 million towards a 10 MW electrolyser at its Clean Energy Innovation Park in Warradarge, Western Australia, a project it is developing with partnership with ATCO Australia.
AGIG has also announced plans to develop a plant similar to HyP SA in Gladstone, Queensland and is also assessing how hydrogen can be introduced into the Dampier to Bunbury natural gas transmission pipeline in Western Australia.
“AGIG is leading the way in renewable hydrogen across the energy value chain in Australia, with a number of major projects across all mainland states,” Wilson said.
The SA Government followed up the launch of HyP SA by calling for national and international expressions of interest (EoI) to develop land at Port Bonython near Whyalla.
Port Bonython was identified as one of three potential export hubs for both green and blue hydrogen in the state’s Hydrogen Export Prospectus which was launched late last year. The proposed $240 million project will see the installation of a 75 MW electrolyser.
Treasurer Rob Lucas said the government is now targeting EoIs for projects which complement and strategically align with existing and future land uses in the Port Bonython precinct.
“Having a hydrogen hub exporting to Australian and international markets will leverage the $20 billion pipeline of large-scale renewable energy projects under development in South Australia,” he said.
“We are committed to becoming a national and international exporter of clean power.
“Our expectation is that during the 2030s we will generate more clean power than is required for local use, setting us up to become a national and global force in clean energy export.”
Lucas said EOIs will be rated on their ability to develop projects that have the potential to create economic growth and regional development for the state, and contribute to Port Bonython as a multi-user, export-focused precinct to leverage the state’s advantages in renewable energy, fuels and minerals.
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