3.5 GW of green hydrogen projects make Headstart shortlist


The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced that six applicants have been shortlisted and invited to submit a full application in the next stage of the federal government’s Hydrogen Headstart program that is aimed at bridging “the commercial gap for early projects.”

The six shortlisted projects are spread throughout Queensland, New South Wales (NSW), Tasmania and Western Australia and represent a total electrolyser capacity of more than 3.5 GW across various end uses, predominantly in hard-to-abate sectors such as ammonia.

The successful projects include the Murchison Hydrogen Renewables Project that will feature at least 1,625 MW of electrolyser capacity and bp’s H2Kwinana project that is to include a 105 MW electrolyser, both in Western Australia.

In NSW, Korea Electric Power Corporation’s (KEPCO) planned Port of Newcastle Green Hydrogen Project that includes 750 MW of electrolyser capacity has been shortlisted, along with Origin Energy’s Hunter Valley Hydrogen Hub that is to include a 50 MW electrolyser in the first phase, with the potential to expand to 200 MW in subsequent phases.

Chile’s HIF (Highly Innovative Fuels) Global’s planned Tasmania eFuel Facility that includes a 144 MW electrolyser has also advanced to the next stage, along with the Central Queensland Hydrogen Project that comprises at least 720 MW of electrolyser capacity being developed by Queensland government-owned generator Stanwell Energy.

ARENA Chief Executive Officer Darren Miller said the shortlisted projects involve deploying large-scale electrolysers of at least 50 MW in size, making a significant and faster impact on implementing a new renewable hydrogen industry.

“The applicants shortlisted for the next stage provide us with the best opportunity at fast tracking our renewable hydrogen industry,” he said. “It’s great to see the commitment from Australian companies who are looking to invest in and utilise hydrogen in their own decarbonisation efforts.”

Miller said the Hydrogen Headstart program is “a crucial step towards keeping Australia on the path to become a global hydrogen leader, creating new export opportunities, while helping to decarbonise our economy.”

Announced in the 2023-24 budget, the Hydrogen Headstart program aims to catalyse Australia’s green hydrogen industry. Under the program, projects seeking to produce green hydrogen or derivatives, such as renewable ammonia or methanol, at scale can apply for a production credit delivered over 10 years to bridge the commercial gap between the cost of producing renewable hydrogen and the market price.

Federal Energy Minister said large-scale production of renewable hydrogen is critical to Australia becoming a global hydrogen leader and the broad spread of shortlisted projects – which he described as amongst the largest renewable hydrogen projects in the world – reflects the opportunities available in Australia.

“We have the largest pipeline of renewable hydrogen projects in the world – Hydrogen Headstart is about supporting these projects to become a reality, as Australia transforms into a renewable energy superpower,” he said.

“Renewable hydrogen is crucial to reach net zero, while creating economic opportunities for regional Australia.”

Shortlisted applicants have until 27 June 2024 to submit their full application with funding recipients expected to be announced in the second half of 2024.

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