Gas utility Jemena said 23,500 residential customers and more than 100 commercial and industrial customers in New South Wales (NSW) will now receive green hydrogen as part of their gas mix following the start of production at the Western Sydney Green Hydrogen Hub.
The Green Hydrogen Hub, which was partly funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), comprises a 500 kW electrolyser that uses solar PV and wind power to produce green hydrogen.
The facility connects to Jemena’s existing gas distribution network which delivers gas to more than 1.4 million residential and business customers in NSW.
Jemena managing director Frank Tudor said green hydrogen from the project is being blended into and stored in its existing gas distribution network, replacing a small part of the gas mix.
“This is the first step to decarbonise the Jemena gas network,” he said.
“By blending it into our gas distribution network we are driving the transition to a low-carbon future by providing cleaner energy solutions to our NSW customers.”
The project will also supply green hydrogen for use as a transport fuel from early 2022 through an agreement with gas supply company Coregas.
Tudor said the ‘living laboratory’ was intended to demonstrate how the systems and technology required to generate green hydrogen and store it in the existing gas network could work at scale.
Jemena plans to increase the amount of renewably generated gases blended into the network over time as more renewable gases become available.
“This will ensure our gas network plays its role in enabling the NSW and Australian governments to achieve net zero by 2050,” he said.
ARENA, which awarded $7.5 million in funding to the project, said it is one of the first “power to gas” trials to inject hydrogen into the gas distribution network in Australia and will focus on addressing the technical, regulatory, environmental and economic barriers to the production and use of hydrogen in gas distribution and transmission networks.
While this marks a first for NSW, green hydrogen is already being blended into the South Australian gas network.
Australian Gas Infrastructure Group’s $14.5 million Hydrogen Park South Australia (HyP SA) production facility near Adelaide came online in May, injecting green hydrogen into the existing gas distribution grid for the first time in Australia.
HyP SA, located at Tonsley south of Adelaide, is now delivering a blend of approximately 5% renewable hydrogen and natural gas to 700 homes in the Adelaide suburb of Mitchell Park.
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.
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