Work on Queensland’s ‘truly green’ government-owned hydrogen plant to start in six months

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The Kogan Renewable Hydrogen Demonstration Plant, which is set to produce 50 tonnes of green hydrogen annually from behind-the-meter solar energy, is nearing reality. Today the Queensland government announced the plant, to be located near Chinchilla, will begin construction in six months, “once all relevant development approvals have been finalised.”

CS Energy’s plans for an associated refuelling network in South West Queensland are in the “development phase,” it added, alluding to its interest in catering to the transport sector.

The Queensland government-owned CS Energy said it has entered into an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with IHI Engineering Australia, a subsidiary of Japanese industrial giant IHI Corporation, after it successfully delivered the project’s feasibility study last year.

Minister Mick de Brenni (right) at the planned hydrogen demonstration plant site beside CS Energy’s Kogan Creek Power Station in December 2020.

CS Energy

The hydrogen plant is to be built next to CS Energy’s Kogan Creek Power Station, though its 600-700kW hydrogen electrolyser will be exclusively powered by the co-located 2MW solar farm. The project will also include a 2MW/4MWh battery energy storage system and a hydrogen fuel cell of up to 50kW.

“The Kogan Creek project is an opportunity for publicly owned CS Energy to stake its territory in the hydrogen sector and expand Queenslanders’ ownership of renewable energy assets,” Queensland Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said.

“This project offers multiple benefits for CS Energy because of hydrogen’s ability to be used as both a fuel and as a way to store energy,” CS Energy chief executive officer Andrew Bills added.

“In addition to selling hydrogen into the domestic market, CS Energy can use the plant’s battery to provide grid stability services in the Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) Market.”

In January, Japan’s Sojitz Corporation announced it would offtake the hydrogen produced at Kogan Hydrogen Demonstration Plant to export to the Republic of Palau, where it will be used in transport applications and stationary fuel cells for power generation.

This offtake agreement is set to come into action at the same time as the plant itself, in 2023.

The company has said it has also received “strong interest” from potential offtakers in the domestic heavy transport and haulage sector.

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