Tasmanian government to support Bell Bay becoming Australia’s first green hydrogen hub with water policy changes


On February 24, the Government foreshadowed a proposed change to the Irrigation Company Act 2011 to enable Tasmanian Irrigation to supply bulk raw water to the Tasmanian Green Hydrogen Hub at Bell Bay.

This change will support the Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Action Plan which sets the ambitious goal of transforming Tasmania into a globally significant exporter of green hydrogen from 2030,’’ Minister Barnett said.

More than 12 per cent of Australia’s annual rainfall falls in Tasmania, which represents 1 per cent of Australia’s land. This resource is carefully managed to ensure sustainability.

A common use water infrastructure solution is a key part of enabling green hydrogen production at Bell Bay. This proposed legislative change would ensure that Tasmanian Irrigation can assist the Government to progress with the most cost effective and appropriate solution to provide a sustainable and reliable water supply to the Bell Bay Green Hydrogen Hub,’’ Minister Barnett said.

The estimated water volumes to be provided to hydrogen producers would represent less than 1 per cent of what would normally flow through the Trevallyn Power Station annually.

This proposal has the in-principle support of the TFGA and will help secure the prospects for the proposed Tamar Irrigation Scheme to the benefit of both irrigators and green hydrogen producers, and will not impact the availability or increase the price of water paid by farmers,’’ Minister Palmer said.

Importantly, any water supplied to green hydrogen producers would be sourced from the existing Hydro Tasmania water allocation, ensuring that no additional pressure is placed on Tasmania’s water supplies.

The Government will undertake extensive consultation in relation to the proposed amendments and further information about this will be made available in the coming weeks on the Renewables, Climate and Future Industries Tasmania website,’’ Minister Palmer said.

This announcement on the Government’s preferred water supply solution follows last year’s announcement of up to $70 million in Federal funding to progress Bell Bay as a national green Hydrogen Hub, one of the first steps in securing Tasmania’s future in the transitioning energy landscape.

Tasmania can play a key role in the local, national and international transition to green energy, while leveraging the State’s unique advantages of infrastructure and renewable energy to create a thriving export-scale green hydrogen production facility.

This will support local jobs and manufacturing and also provide a secure green hydrogen source for Tasmanian businesses that need an alternative to natural gas to decarbonise their products and services.

The Rockliff Liberal Government is confident that green hydrogen along with our current Hydro assets, world-class wind resources, pumped hydro and the proposed Marinus Link will make Tasmania the renewable powerhouse of the country.