Ark Energy has officially broken ground on its SunHQ H2 Hub in Townsville, Queensland. The ceremony, attended by local dignitaries, company executives, and key stakeholders, marked the commencement of construction for the cutting-edge green hydrogen facility.
Ark Energy’s SunHQ H2 Hub is generating substantial excitement in the realm of green energy. The project is poised to become a driving force behind the development of North Queensland’s domestic hydrogen economy and expedite the decarbonization of Australia’s ultra-heavy transport sector.
The first phase of the SunHQ H2 Hub is set to feature a 1MW PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) electrolyser supplied by Plug Power. This state-of-the-art technology will facilitate the production of green hydrogen, harnessing the co-located 121MWac Sun Metals solar farm through a behind-the-meter connection.
Financial support for this endeavor has come from both the Queensland Government, which has offered a grant of $5 million, and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) with an allocation of $3.02 million. This investment will enable the hub to integrate compression, storage, and refueling facilities.
The initial demand for the produced green hydrogen will arise from a fleet of five 140-tonne rated hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks (FCETs), to be sourced from Hyzon Motors and leased to Ark Energy’s sister company, Townsville Logistics Pty Ltd. Notably, these FCETs are anticipated to be the world’s largest fuel cell trucks.
These trucks will operate along a 30-kilometer round trip, shuttling between the Sun Metals Zinc Refinery and the Port of Townsville. By displacing five existing diesel prime movers, they are expected to prevent a staggering 1,300 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.
In addition to meeting its own hydrogen demand, Phase 1 of SunHQ will possess the capacity to produce 155,000kg of green hydrogen per annum. This surplus capability will empower Ark Energy to supply green hydrogen to third-party customers, assisting them in their transition to a low-carbon future.
Notably, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has made a significant commitment of up to $12.5 million to support Ark Energy in realizing the SunHQ project. This collaboration marks a noteworthy achievement as SunHQ becomes the first hydrogen initiative to receive joint backing from ARENA and CEFC, signaling a united effort in advancing the green hydrogen landscape.
The groundbreaking ceremony in Townsville for the SunHQ H2 Hub symbolizes more than the start of a construction project; it signifies the dawn of a greener, more sustainable future for North Queensland and Australia. With its potential to catalyze the hydrogen economy and contribute to decarbonizing the transportation sector, SunHQ serves as a beacon of hope in the quest for a cleaner, more sustainable energy landscape.