European Energy announced its acquisition of a majority stake in Queensland-headquartered energy company Austrom Hydrogen with the intention of accelerating the formal development and grid connection processes for the proposed 3.6 GW Pacific Solar Hydrogen Project.
The Pacific Solar Hydrogen Project, planned for a 6,000-hectare site near the port of Gladstone, will comprise up to 3.6 GW of PV and battery energy storage. The integrated solar and storage facility will power a hydrogen electrolyser capable of producing more than 100,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per annum.
“It is one of the biggest projects that we or anyone in the world for that matter have undertaken,” European Energy Executive Vice President and Head of Project Development Thorvald Spanggaard said.
“We do believe that it is feasible and realistic to realise this project in 2026 not least because of the willingness of the local authorities in Australia to see the possibilities of moving ahead on the green transition and become a key exporter of the fuel of tomorrow.”
Sunshine Coast-based Austrom, which has secured the rights to four sites totalling 6,000 hectares in proximity to the Gladstone export hub, first unveiled its plans for the Pacific Solar Hydrogen Project in 2020, saying the ultimate goal is to generate green hydrogen for export through Gladstone Port.
Catriona Mcleod, the country manager for European Energy in Australia, said the project would also become a hub for renewable energy production and “e-fuels.”
“The vast energy resources of Australia are not limited to fossil fuels,” she said. “Being a hub for renewable energy production, green hydrogen and e-fuels is the logical next step for our country.”
Mcleod said European Energy will be doing the development work as well as managing the grid connection process for the Pacific Solar Hydrogen Project portfolio.
The project is part of a growing portfolio of renewable energy projects that European Energy is pursuing in Australia.
The Copenhagen-headquartered company, which established an office in Melbourne in 2022, said it is determined to acquire, develop, build, own and operate a portfolio of large-scale renewable energy projects in Australia.
“European Energy is now advancing wind and solar opportunities across the NEM (National Electricity Market), and as one of the frontrunners in e-fuels and green hydrogen I believe we are very well suited to accelerate the speed in which these projects can be realised,” McLeod said.
European Energy said it has a development pipeline of more than 20 GW of renewable energy projects across four continents and is currently constructing more than 1.2 GW of new energy capacity.
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