Last year, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) announced that seven companies have been shortlisted and invited to submit a full application for the next stage of the Agency’s $70 million hydrogen funding round.
Among the shortlisted companies was Woodside, which proposes to establish a renewable hydrogen operation at the Bell Bay Industrial Zone in northern Tasmania in partnership with Countrywide Renewable Energy.
The ARENA application has been supported through a MOU signed between the Tasmanian Government and Woodside that will assist in furthering discussions between the parties regarding a potential collaboration for Woodside to develop and operate a 10MW hydrogen production facility with a capacity to produce 4.5 tonnes per day.
Minister for Energy, Guy Barnett said the signing of the MOU demonstrated the Government’s support for companies looking to develop the hydrogen industry in Tasmania.
“As one of the world’s largest leading producers of liquefied natural gas, Woodside’s interest in establishing a major renewable hydrogen operation at the Bell Bay Industrial Zone could lead to significant local jobs and a major contribution to our economy in the long-term,” the Minister added.
Minister for State Growth, Michael Ferguson said analysis have shown renewable hydrogen production costs could be 10 to 15% lower in Tasmania than from other Australian power grids and 20 to 30% lower than from dedicated off-grid renewables, making the state ‘the ideal base for renewable hydrogen in Australia’.
He also welcomed the agreement between TasGas and Woodside, which provides the framework to blend up to 10% hydrogen produced at Woodside’s proposed H2TAS project into the Tasmanian gas network.
“With TasGas networks being relatively new they have the capability to safely convey hydrogen, unlike the older systems in other parts of Australia,” Mr Ferguson continued.
“Through projects like this and a range of other small, medium and large projects from a range of potential proponents, Tasmania can become the renewable hydrogen hub of the Asia-Pacific region.”