Infinite Blue Energy (IBE) has unveiled a new plan to transition large users of fossil fuel based electricity in NSW to green hydrogen by 2027.
The initial target for Project NEO is 1000 MW of 100 percent green hydrogen reliable baseload power through a combination of solar PV, wind turbines and hydrogen fuel cell technology.
Project NEO initially focuses on delivering 1000 MW, but the concept is scalable, and potentially capable of delivering a significant proportion of the region’s electricity demand. The NSW wholesale power market was worth A$6.55 billion according to the new AER estimates.
Traditionally this level of electricity generation was only achievable with coal or gas fired power stations, but green hydrogen is now a viable alternative.
Project NEO, which will begin with a feasibility study and detailed design over the next 18 months, focuses on transforming the conventional dependence on coal-fired and/or gas fueled electricity to green hydrogen generated baseload electricity.
A traditional drawback with solar and wind energy is the variability associated with relying on natural changes and conditions in season.
Through transforming solar and wind energy into green hydrogen, electricity can be generated by its fuel cell technology when there is no wind, a rainy day or nighttime exposure to zero light.
“The vision at IBE is to show the world, first and foremost, that Australia has the technology, skills and entrepreneurial mindset to be a true leader in the development of green hydrogen plants.
“We are currently in robust negotiations with major electricity users in the NSW Hunter Region that have confirmed their intentions to transition to green hydrogen baseload Electricity this decade. IBE is negotiating over 1000 MW of electricity currently generated by coal and natural gas to a source of green hydrogen baseload electricity.”Stephen Gauld, IBE CEO.
Project NEO, which is estimated to cost A$2.7 billion in total when constructed, generates green hydrogen with renewable wind and solar energy. The green hydrogen is then stored before being converted into electricity by fuel cells.
“Another really exciting aspect of Project NEO is the capacity of the renewable generation which will be around 3.5GW of energy delivered from the plan.
“The scale and sheer potential of it is immense. To put things into perspective, that is 2.5 times greater in energy production than the recently-announced project in Western Australia by one of Australia’s largest oil and gas companies – one that’s seeking to have 1.5 GW of new wind and solar capacity in Geraldton. And we are only just at the beginning.”
IBE’s base design of Project NEO is to link sites with high generation efficiencies together into an IBE distributed generation model. This allows the generation sites to blend in with existing land users with minimal impact. The potential also exists for mine voids to be used to minimize visual impact on adjacent landowners.
By introducing additional baseload electricity generation, the National Electricity Network could be stabilized and the likelihood of catastrophic collapse reduced. Green hydrogen can be used to generate electricity, or it can be used as input to other industries. Steel production is one industry identified as being able to use green hydrogen to reduce carbon debt.
Green hydrogen can also be used in the manufacture of electronics, glass and fertilizers. This will support existing Australian companies in their decarbonization efforts, and potentially allow the establishment of new industries and manufacturing across NSW.
“Project NEO will produce local and indirect employment, allow existing industries to decarbonize, and facilitate the establishment of new industries. It will localize manufacturing, give a 100% green supply of power to NSW, fuel the reduction of the state’s carbon emissions and can therefore play a pivotal role in ultimately helping Australia become leaders in carbon emission reduction.”Stephen Gauld, IBE CEO.