Plug Power, a renowned leader in comprehensive hydrogen solutions, has been chosen to provide two 5-megawatt (MW) proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer systems for green hydrogen projects in Tasmania.
The initiatives are being developed by Countrywide Hydrogen Pty Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ReNu Energy Limited (ASX:RNE). This collaboration signifies the increasing recognition of green hydrogen as a viable solution to decarbonize various sectors.
The two 5 MW PEM electrolyzer systems supplied by Plug Power will be installed at planned production facilities located in Brighton near Hobart and Western Junction near Launceston. These systems will play a crucial role in producing 4,200 kilograms of hydrogen per day. The hydrogen produced will be instrumental in the decarbonization efforts targeting the road transport and natural gas sectors in Tasmania.
The strategic selection of the project sites is based on leveraging existing infrastructure to ensure optimal integration with the existing energy ecosystem. Plug Power’s PEM electrolyzer systems align perfectly with the plant designs, making them an ideal choice for Countrywide Hydrogen’s ambitious green hydrogen projects in Tasmania, according to Plug CEO Andy Marsh.
The process of producing hydrogen will involve electrolysis, with an initial plan to source renewable power from the state grid. Subsequently, the power supply will transition to behind-the-meter solar installations and power purchase agreements with wind, solar, and hydropower operators. This approach ensures a sustainable and environmentally friendly hydrogen production process.
Moreover, the water required for the electrolysis process will be sourced from TasWater’s network, further reinforcing the commitment to utilizing local resources and infrastructure for the projects.
To meet the projected increase in hydrogen demand, the project design incorporates a second electrolyzer at each site. This redundancy measure guarantees a secure supply of hydrogen and mitigates the impact of unexpected outages. Additionally, tube trailers will be used for hydrogen storage, enhancing the flexibility and reliability of the system. In case of unforeseen disruptions, the interconnectedness of the sites will enable mutual support and continuity of operations.
Furthermore, the project sites will be connected to the TasGas network, enabling the injection of hydrogen into the existing gas infrastructure. This integration will not only facilitate the supply of hydrogen to local industries but also contribute to the development of a robust hydrogen ecosystem in Tasmania.
The deployment of green hydrogen projects in Tasmania holds tremendous potential to drive sustainable development and combat climate change. By utilizing renewable power sources and leveraging existing infrastructure, these initiatives align with global efforts to transition to a low-carbon economy. Green hydrogen has gained significant attention as a versatile and clean energy carrier that can replace fossil fuels in various sectors.
The impact of these green hydrogen projects in Tasmania extends beyond the reduction of carbon emissions. They have the potential to create new employment opportunities, foster innovation, and attract investments in the region’s burgeoning green economy. The projects can also contribute to the energy security of Tasmania by diversifying the energy mix and reducing reliance on imported fossil fuels.