Australian gas suppliers step closer to hydrogen blending in the networks

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Two projects have been awarded almost Au$61 million (US$47 million) in development funding towards hydrogen blending.

The two projects are by Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG) and Engie, and ATCO with Australian Gas Infrastructure Group as its joint venture partner.

AGIG and Engie are undertaking the Hydrogen Park Murray Valley project in Wodonga in eastern Victoria, which receives Au$32.1 million. The project is intended to produce hydrogen from mid-2023 with a 10MW electrolyser powered by renewable electricity.

The installation will be located at North East Water’s West Wodonga wastewater treatment plant and is planned to enable blending of up to 10% renewable hydrogen into Australian Gas Networks’ existing natural gas network. There it will supply more than 40,000 existing residential, commercial and industrial customers in Wodonga and nearby Albury in New South Wales.

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ATCO’s project, which receives Au$28.7 million, also comprises a 10MW electrolyser at a new Clean Energy Innovation Park co-located for power supply with the 180MW Warradarge wind farm in Western Australia’s mid-west.

Hydrogen generated at a rate of up to 4t per day will then be stored there for transport via truck to injection points to Western Australia’s gas network.

“AGIG is leading the way in renewable hydrogen across the energy value chain in Australia with a number of major projects across all the mainland states,” asserts AGIG’s CEO, Ben Wilson.

“Hydrogen Park Murray Valley takes us a step closer to making a 100% renewable gas supply a reality.”

Patrick Creaghan, ATCO Australia Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer, adds: “The development of the Clean Energy Innovation Park has the dual benefit of not only contributing to the decarbonisation of the gas distribution network, it also allows us to generate the economies of scale required to expand the demand and use of renewable hydrogen as a commercially viable fuel.”

These projects are two of three commercial scale hydrogen projects that have been awarded a total of over Au$103 million (US$80 milllion) in government funding by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

The third project also is by Engie through Engie Renewables Australia, which receives up to Au$42.5 million towards a 10MW electrolyser project to produce renewable hydrogen in a consortium with Yara Pilbara Fertilisers at an existing ammonia facility in Karratha, Western Australia.

ARENA anticipates that the three projects will play a significant role in supporting commercial-scale deployments of renewable hydrogen in Australia and help progress the country’s pathway towards sub-$2 hydrogen .