Provaris Energy, formerly Global Energy Ventures, is forging ahead with plans to develop a 2.8 GW solar farm on the Tiwi Islands off the coast of the Northern Territory (NT) as part of plans to create a massive green hydrogen production facility for export into the Asia-Pacific region.
Provaris is developing green hydrogen production and export facilities on Melville Island, where the hydrogen will be manufactured through the electrolysis of purified sea water and powered by solar PV energy. The initial development will see about 500 MW solar of solar generation installed on the island but Provaris says it could be expanded to 2.8 GW as the renewable hydrogen market expands.
The Tiwi H2 Project is targeting an annual green hydrogen production of 100,000 tonnes, which will be exported to the Asia-Pacific region, with a particular focus on Japan, South Korea, Singapore and China.
Provaris executive director and chief development officer Garry Triglavcanin said the referral submission is the first stage of the NT Environment Protection Authority (EPA) assessment process and has been “developed to demonstrate the Tiwi H2 Project will develop a safe, sustainable and efficient supply chain for exporting green hydrogen in a way that minimises environmental and social impacts”.
Triglavcanin said the referral submission includes technical and engineering studies for elements of the project including the solar site, transmission line, and desalination, electrolysis and compression facilities.
The Tiwi H2 Project comprises a solar precinct to be built on a 2,640-hectare site on the northern tip of Melville Island. This will be connected the green hydrogen production facility at Port Melville by a 30-kilometre long 275 kV transmission line. Green hydrogen produced at the facility will be compressed and loaded onto Provaris’ own fleet of hydrogen-powered and compressed hydrogen carrying ships.
Construction of the project is targeted to commence in 2024 and will likely be undertaken in stages, allowing hydrogen production and export volumes to increase over time in line with customer demand. The first production of hydrogen for export is expected to commence in Q1 2027.
Provaris expects a response from the NT EPA on assessment level in October 2022, and said the Tiwi H2 Project has the potential to be Australia’s first export project of gaseous green hydrogen.
Provaris managing director and chief executive officer Martin Carolan said the referral submission is a significant step forward for the company.
“This is a key milestone for Provaris as we continue to demonstrate the benefits of compressed hydrogen as an export carrier compared to alternatives which require mega-scale and capital as well as energy-intensive processes for conversion to transport and re-conversion back to hydrogen,” he said.
“Our project offers the Northern Territory and Australia a first-mover advantage for the export of green hydrogen into Asia.”
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