Stanwell Hydrogen Project secures ARENA funding

Image Credit: Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)

Stanwell Corporation has received $1.25 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to assess the feasibility of what would be the largest hydrogen electrolysis demonstration plant in Australia.

The project aims to demonstrate how hydrogen can be used to create a cleaner way to produce electricity through the installation of a 10MW (or larger) hydrogen demonstration plant at the Stanwell Power Station site south-west of Rockhampton, in Central Queensland.

Commenced in July last year, Stanwell’s $5 million study will determine the optimal design and define the highest value end use for the renewable hydrogen produced.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said the study will also determine the optimal conditions for electrolysers operating at high capacities.

“Through Stanwell’s feasibility study we’re showing a new option for producing and using renewable hydrogen,” Mr Miller noted.

“This will create opportunities across the domestic economy and help to position Australia to become a major renewable energy exporter.”

Mr Miller said Stanwell Power Station offers a unique proposition in demonstrating the role that renewable hydrogen production can play to benefit the electricity system.

He said the hydrogen electrolyser could be used as a complimentary energy market load that can ramp up in times of excess energy supply, as well as to aid system security through participation in Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) markets or future markets such as Fast Frequency Response (FFR).

“The construction and operation of a utility scale electrolyser is important to demonstrate the costs associated with producing renewable hydrogen at scale,” Mr Miller continued.

“If feasible, this could help underpin future commercial scale deployments leveraging existing network infrastructure at other power stations, and play a role in driving down the cost of domestic hydrogen production.”

The feasibility study is expected to be completed in late 2020.

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