Acciona, Stanwell ink offtake deal for 380 MW Aldoga Solar Farm

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Queensland government-owned energy company Stanwell has signed a 15-year, 380 MWp Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Acciona Energia to purchase the entire output of the Aldoga Solar Farm being developed about 20 kilometres northwest of Gladstone.

Construction of the $500 million solar farm, which has approvals in place to reach a capacity of 600 MWp, is expected to commence in the coming months with Acciona anticipating it will be complete before the end of 2025.

Stanwell Chief Executive Officer Michael O’Rourke said the energy generated at the solar farm will be used to power the Central Queensland Hydrogen Hub (CQ-H2) being built on a 236-hectare site alongside the solar project.

Stanwell is part of a consortium of Australian and Japanese energy companies that is developing the CQ-H2 project which would initially involve the installation of up to 640 MW of electrolysers to produce green hydrogen for domestic use and export commencing in 2028. It is proposed the project will ultimately scale up to more than 3 GW of electrolysis capacity.

“Stanwell has set out an ambitious strategy for what we will achieve as a business between now and 2035 and a key component of our strategy is to drive the development of Queensland’s hydrogen industry,” O’Rourke said.

“Our agreement with Acciona to secure the output of the Aldoga Solar Farm is a key milestone for us, as the Central Queensland Hydrogen Project undertakes its front end engineering design (FEED) study and progresses to final investment decision.”

The proposed CQ-H2 project would produce 328,500 tonnes of green hydrogen per annum.

Image: Stanwell

If progressed, the CQ-H2 project aims to deliver renewable hydrogen to Japan and Singapore, as well as supplying large domestic customers in central Queensland.

The consortium has already initiated a FEED study with final investment decision expected in late 2024 and commercial operations targeted to commence in 2028.

The CQ-H2 project, which has attracted financial support from the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), aims to produce up to 36,500 tonnes per annum of renewable hydrogen from 2026, scaling up to 328,500 tonnes per annum in 2031 to meet forecast demand.

The confirmation of the solar supply deal comes on the same day that the Australian government announced it will invest an additional $69.2 million to develop the CQ-H2 project as part of its Regional Hydrogen Hubs program.

Federal Energy Minister Chris Bowen said the investment will help build infrastructure including the electrolyser, pipeline, and underground hydrogen storage. The hub infrastructure will help support hydrogen production and use in Australia and overseas.

“Gladstone has strong foundations to host a thriving hydrogen industry, creating thousands of local jobs and position Australia as a renewable energy superpower,” he said.

“Renewable hydrogen will play a big role in our path to net zero, helping cut emissions in hard-to-abate sectors, and the manufacturing of green metals and other products the world needs.”

The federal government’s Regional Hydrogen Hubs program is delivering more than half a billion dollars for hydrogen hubs in Gladstone, Townsville, Kwinana, the Pilbara, the Hunter, Bell Bay and Port Bonython.

Stanwell’s PPA with Acciona is the second major solar supply deal done for a large green hydrogen project in Queensland this month.

Earlier this month, Genex Power signed a 337.5 MW offtake agreement for its planned Bulli Creek Clean Energy Project to supply power to Fortescue’s green hydrogen and green ammonia project at Gibson Island.

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