ARENA has announced $1.5 million in funding for Australia’s first green hydrogen innovation hub at Jandakot in Western Australia.
The $3.3 million project, to be managed by Canada’s gas network operator ATCO, will trial the production, storage and use of renewable hydrogen to energise a commercial-scale microgrid.
It will test the use of hydrogen in different settings and applications – including in household appliances – and assess the practicalities of replacing natural gas with hydrogen at a city-wide scale across a municipality.
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the project builds on ATCO’s distributed energy hybrid energy system trial called GasSola which includes the installation of rooftop solar with battery storage and standby natural gas generation for nine residential sites in Western Australia’s south west.
“Along with ARENA’s R&D funding round focussed on exporting hydrogen, this project will explore the opportunities for hydrogen in Australia, which could also include the development of standards for green hydrogen production, distribution and use,” he said.
ATCO Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer Pat Creaghan said green hydrogen will be produced from on-site solar using electrolysis, fuelling a range of gas appliances and blending hydrogen into the natural gas pipeline.
“We intend to play a leading role in the development of forward-thinking, clean energy solutions, and our Clean Energy Innovation Hub is at the very heart of those plans,” Mr Creaghan continued.
“The project has many exciting elements, but what truly sets it apart is the use of excess renewable energy, which would typically be lost to the system, to produce hydrogen.”