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Over $100 million to build Australia’s first large-scale hydrogen plants

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ARENA announced that it has conditionally approved $103.3 million towards three commercial-scale renewable hydrogen projects, as part of its Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round.

As part of its Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced that it has conditionally approved $103.3 million for three commercial-scale renewable hydrogen projects on behalf of the Australian Government.

The following are the three active projects:

Engie Renewables Australia Pty Ltd (Engie): ARENA will contribute up to $42.5 million to a 10 MW electrolyser project in Karratha, Western Australia, in collaboration with Yara Pilbara Fertilisers, to produce renewable hydrogen; ATCO Australia Pty Ltd (ATCO): ARENA will contribute up to $28.7 million to a 10 MW electrolyser for gas blending at ATCO’s Clean Energy HQ.
ARENA has expanded the funding envelope, which was initially $70 million, by $33.3 million to finance these programs. The cumulative project value of these three projects is $161 million.

The electrolysers in these hydrogen plants will be among the world’s biggest, with a capacity of 10 MW.

The projects would also aid Australia’s journey to achieving the Australian Government’s target of “H2 under $2” by promoting commercial-scale deployments of renewable hydrogen.

At the Yara Pilbara Fertilisers site, Engie will use renewable hydrogen to generate ammonia, while ATCO and AGIG’s ventures will use renewable energy to produce renewable hydrogen for gas blending into existing natural gas pipelines.

ARENA launched a funding round last year to support Australia’s first commercial scale hydrogen ventures, aiming to accelerate the production of renewable hydrogen in the country.

Expressions of interest were sought from large-scale hydrogen electrolyser projects across Australia, with the aim of accelerating the commercialization of key component technologies and lowering the cost of generating renewable hydrogen. ARENA submitted 36 expressions of interest from across Australia, and seven projects were shortlisted and invited to submit complete applications after an initial evaluation.

Three projects were chosen for funding after a comprehensive evaluation process. Until funding is issued, Engie, ATCO, and AGIG must meet a number of development requirements and reach financial close. In order to do this, ARENA will continue to collaborate with the businesses.

Renewable hydrogen, according to ARENA CEO Darren Miller, has the potential to minimize emissions both globally and locally, change our energy system, and build a new export industry for Australia.

“We’re excited to have chosen three projects we believe will help kickstart renewable hydrogen production in Australia at a large scale. One of the projects will see clean hydrogen used to make ammonia for export and the other two will blend clean hydrogen into our gas pipelines to help decarbonise our natural gas networks. Our hydrogen industry in Australia is in its infancy, so the lessons learned from these three projects – and the entire funding round – will be important in driving our future hydrogen economy.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller

With more than $100 million in funding, we’re hoping to build some of the biggest hydrogen electrolysers in the world, with the ultimate goal of bringing down the cost of hydrogen produced using renewable energy and growing our skills and capacity to meet future global demand for hydrogen,” he said.

“We have been very impressed with the response to the round and I’d like to thank all of the companies that submitted applications. With the round stimulating interest in the sector, we can see a number of well-progressed feasibility studies and large projects emerging. Australia is well placed to become a major player as the clean hydrogen market develops,”

ARENA CEO Darren Miller

ARENA has been active in the clean hydrogen sector since 2016 and has already committed over $57 million to hydrogen projects including $22.1 million towards 16 R&D projects, as well as feasibility studies into large scale projects and smaller scale demonstrations looking at renewable hydrogen production, power to gas and hydrogen mobility.

Arnes Biogradlija
Creative Content Director at EnergyNews.Biz

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