Rooftop solar on Lion Energy’s radar for Queensland hydrogen hub


Lion Energy has obtained development approval from the Queensland State Assessment and Referral Agency for the Port of Brisbane project which once operational is expected to be capable of generating more than 150,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per year.

The approval gives Lion the green light to proceed to the construction phase, which is expected to commence in Q2 2024 with commissioning of the hydrogen generation and refueling hub expected in the second half of the year.

Lion Executive Chair Tom Soulsby said the green hydrogen hub is geared towards heavy mobility fleets with an early focus on supplying hydrogen to domestic public bus fleets, truck fleets and fuel cell gensets for the construction and mining industry.

“The location at Port of Brisbane is highly strategic due to its proximity to the majority of Brisbane 70-plus bus depots, and also the significant heavy vehicle traffic to and from the port,” he said.

“Our site will initially produce and dispense some 420 kilograms of green hydrogen per day, but with the ability to quickly double production to respond to increasing demand.”

West Australia-headquartered Lion said the facility will include all equipment required to generate and dispense green hydrogen, as well as the ability to load compressed hydrogen onto tube trailers for transportation to other sites.

Lion said it has already procured key equipment, including two electrolysers, and is jointly discussing with Port of Brisbane potential investments into solar energy supply at the port to help power the facility.

During FY23, approximately 23% of all Port of Brisbane energy was generated by onsite renewable. The port is already home to almost 2 MW of rooftop solar on both port-managed and tenanted buildings, and the authority has plans to install more rooftop solar as standard on new port developments as part of its commitment to deliver sustainable design outcomes for customers and achieve net zero emissions by 2030.

The hub is also expected to source power from available renewable electricity through Large-Scale Generation Certificates (LGCs) and by sourcing directly from existing renewable energy suppliers through power purchase agreements.

Soulsby, who indicated the government approval could be a first for a green hydrogen generation and refuelling hub in a major capital city in Australia, said the Brisbane site is the first for a proposed network of hydrogen refuelling depots across eastern Australia.

“We are proud to bring the first commercial sized green hydrogen facility in Queensland,” he said. “Our project will immediately benefit the community by allowing bus companies to operate clean hydrogen buses in the Brisbane metro area.”

“Our installation will also allow many other businesses to confidently trial various types hydrogen vehicles in the near future, such as cement agitators, garbage trucks, and all other heavy vehicles for which battery technology is inadequate.”

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