• A new huge renewable hydrogen project has been proposed in Western Australia by HRA, backed by Siemens as technology collaboration partner
  • Combined solar PV and wind power capacity of 5 GW will produce hydrogen in Murchison House Station, near Kalbarri in Western Australia
  • Project will be developed and expanded in phases starting with producing hydrogen for transport fuels, followed by to blend with natural gas and another large expansion to supply the same to Asian markets, notably Japan and Korea
  • Local media reports suggest the project needs to come online by 2028 and will cost close to AUD 10 billion

Hydrogen production projects powered  by renewables is currently a hot topic in number of countries around the world – even if production start is usually several years in the future. Australia is probably a leader. On the very sunny continent, one hydrogen production project has been planned with 15 GW of solar PV and wind power in Pilbara (see Wind & Solar Scaled up To 15 GW For Asian RE Hub). Now another massive project has been revealed for green hydrogen to be powered by up to 5 GW of combined solar and wind farm capacity.

The Murchison Renewable Hydrogen Project has been proposed by Hydrogen Renewables Australia (HRA) to produce low-cost hydrogen in Murchison House Station near the coastal town of Kalbarri in Western Australia (WA).  Siemens is HRA’s technology collaboration partner for the project – it plans to supply its electrolyser technology.

HRA and the Nanda Aboriginal Corporation (NAC) are currently developing an Indigenous Land Use Agreement that’s expected to be finalized during 2020. The individual capacities of solar and wind power haven’t been disclosed nor is it known as yet what quantity of hydrogen is envisaged to be produced here.

Hydrogen produced under the project will be used for various purposes and developed in phases, starting with a demonstration phase providing hydrogen for transport fuels, expansion to blend with natural gas in the nearby Dampier to Bunbury pipeline, and finally another large expansion to produce hydrogen for the Asian markets, notably Japan and Korea.

Straits Times quoted HRA’s Terry Kallis as saying that the project will need to be fully ramped up by 2028 when it can start exporting to Japan and South Korea, supplying close to 10% of Asia’s hydrogen demand. The entire project will cost around AUD 10 billion ($9.3 billion).

“We believe that Murchison Renewable Hydrogen Project’s location is the best in Australia for combined solar and wind, making it one of the most cost-effective spots to produce clean energy,” said Terry Kallis, Executive Chairman of Hydrogen Renewables Australia.

The country is exploring various ways to use hydrogen and plans to produce the gas using renewables. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is also funding two separate studies for renewable hydrogen powering ammonia production processes in the country (see Study For RE Powered Hydrogen To Produce Ammonia).

Speaking to RenewEconomy, ARENA CEO Dan Miller claimed that Australia could have up to 700 GW of large scale wind and solar if renewable hydrogen industry replaces the current LNG market in a de-carbonised economy.

Another solar project, albeit without hydrogen production, being planned in the Northern Territory (NT) of Australia plans to supply clean power to Singapore to cover fifth of the country’s electricity needs. It is planned to have a solar PV capacity of 10 GW with 20 to 30 GWh of storage capacity (see 10 GW Solar+Storage Farm Planned In Australia).