Green hydrogen project construction is picking up steam in Australia, with another clean energy project developer kicking off the planning phase for one of Queensland’s first commercial-scale production facilities.
Edify Energy, one of Australia’s most prolific green energy developers, has applied for permission to construct a 10MW hydrogen facility in a “sustainable” industrial district just outside of Townsville.
The green hydrogen project will be built near Edify’s 200MW Majors Creek Solar Farm in the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct, which is being created by the Townsville City Council.
With nearby access to energy and exports facilities, as well as a dedicated supply of water through the Haughton Pipeline, the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct hopes to attract a range of sustainable projects to the Townsville region.
Edify had previously obtained permission to construct the hydrogen production facility on 41 hectares of land in the industrial precinct. A total of 9.7 hectares have been set aside for the construction of a sub-station, which will link the electrolyser facility to the larger grid.
The hydrogen project would be matched with a 10MW solar project behind the meter, which could also be combined with a battery storage project.
During the construction phase of the project, up to 100 jobs are expected to be created, with another six jobs expected to be created during service. Green hydrogen will be made available to other businesses in the industrial precinct.
“Edify proposes to transform renewable energy (from the on-site solar facility) into hydrogen (a combustible gas) to produce ‘green hydrogen’, which can then be utilised for potential fuel for transport – trucks, locomotives, buses – for a domestic market, or potentially injected into the existing or new gas networks for domestic or export markets,”The planning application
The planning applications were submitted by Edify on Wednesday of last week.
The application for development approvals for the 10MW first stage is just the beginning for Edify, which plans to expand its production capability to as much as 1GW of green hydrogen production in the future.
As the facility expands, the company said it will look to draw on power generated at its Majors Creek solar project.
The 10MW first stage was identified by Edify as a “pilot hydrogen facility” that could serve as a model for larger-scale hydrogen production facilities.
“It is expected expansions of the hydrogen plant will be completed in multiple stages, and approval is sought for expansion of the facility in stages,”The planning application
A larger hydrogen production facility at the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct could eventually serve export markets through direct connections to Townsville ports and other infrastructure.
The Townsville City Council recently signed a deal with Origin Energy to help the area grow hydrogen production and export facilities.
Origin Energy has been collaborating with Kawasaki Heavy Industries, a Japanese manufacturing giant, on plans to export hydrogen from Australia to Japan.
“Hydrogen is an energy of the future and our city is uniquely placed to be able to supply hydrogen to both domestic and export markets, We have substantial suitable land and renewable energy capacity, undersubscribed use of the North Queensland Gas Pipeline and renewable energy projects and the deep-water Port of Townsville through which hydrogen can be exported.”Townsville mayor Jenny Hill
Edify’s 10MW first stage for hydrogen production will still make the project one of Australia’s largest renewable-energy-based green hydrogen projects.
The announcement that it has applied for development approval comes only one day after the Australian Renewable Energy Agency revealed that three projects, each of which will produce 10MW of hydrogen production capacity, will share $103 million in government grants.
The three projects chosen for ARENA funding would include zero-emission hydrogen for fertiliser production or for blending into mains gas supplies.
A phase of consultation and collaboration with the local council will lead to the final design of Edify’s facility.
Edify also has a portfolio of about 800MW of renewable energy and energy storage projects under its belt, including the 60MW Gannawarra solar farm and 25MW/50MWh large battery in New South Wales, as well as the 333MW Darlington Point solar farm.