Energy Estate, ACI collaborate on hydrogen production and storage

Energy Estate and Abergeldie Complex Infrastructure have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on opportunities for 24/7 delivery of green hydrogen, e-fuels, and e-chemicals across Energy Estate‚Äôs extensive portfolio of over 30GW of large-scale decarbonization projects.  

Integrating green hydrogen production and storage will help balance intermittent renewable energy supplies and enable the delivery on a 24/7 basis to ammonia, e-fuel, and other hydrogen derivative production facilities. As part of the collaboration, the parties will work together to encourage new investment into the green hydrogen sector in NSW and other States in Australia.

2019 saw the introduction of the Ardent Underground vertical hydrogen storage system by the Australian civil engineering company Abergeldie Complex Infrastructure. Building on its prior drilling technique, the design is a deep hole specifically constructed to contain compressed hydrogen, which is akin to the idea of a salt cavern.

Due to the tiny size and volatility of the hydrogen molecule, storage is not an easy process. But without it, undertakings like the proposed Hunter Hydrogen Network by Energy Estate aren’t safe financial judgments.

According to Simon Currie, principal and co-founder of Australian developer Energy Estate, “the whole topic right now is fundamentally an energy security discussion.” In addition to having a high level of security throughout the midstream, we also require it on the production side.

Storage is especially important for hydrogen projects since a baseload power source is required to produce ammonia and other environmentally friendly hydrogen derivatives, which require plants to run continuously round-the-clock. According to Currie, a “both/and” scenario is the best approach to accomplish that.

To put it another way, a lot of electrical storage is required to run the plant, whether it be in the form of pumped hydro, batteries, or concentrated solar thermal power (CSP). In order to have a “huge buffer sitting on the midstream side of it,” added Currie, you also need hydrogen storage. When variable sources like wind and solar aren’t available, pumped hydro or batteries run out, the stored hydrogen serves as a backup.

The projected 1.6 GW Hunter Hydrogen Network (H2N), which Currie sees as more of a “ecology” than a project, is the first undertaking Energy Estate and Abergeldie will examine together. Energy Estate and Japan’s Eurus Energy, a partnership between Toyota Tsusho and Tokyo Electric Power Co., are working together to create it.