Green Hydrogen For Possible Solar Glass Production In Australia

Xodus’ 1 GW Electrolyzer In Western Australia To Power VRX Silica’s Silica Sand Projects With Green Hydrogen, Along With Potential Flat Glass Manufacturing Plans

Green Hydrogen For Possible Solar Glass Production In Australia

Growing demand for solar panels across Asia Pacific is expected to drive growth for flat glass which may encourage VRX Silica to enter solar glass production using its own silica sand, powered by green hydrogen from Xodus’ MercurHy project. (Illustrative Photo; Photo Credit: Boxyray/Shutterstock.com)

  • Xodus is on the look for experienced capital and infrastructure partners for its MercurHy project in Western Australia
  • The 1 GW electrolyzer project will produce green hydrogen and realized in 3 phases
  • Under a MoU signed, it plans to supply green hydrogen to VRX Silica for its silica sand production and potential plans to manufacture flat glass for solar panels

Scotland based global energy consultancy Xodus says it is open to equity funding for its 1 GW electrolyzer based green hydrogen project in Western Australia which may potentially be supplied to VRX Silica, a producer of high-purity silica sand for flat glass used in solar panels that may also be on the latter’s radar to manufacture.

VRX counts on the increased uptake of solar panels in Asia Pacific to drive an ‘exponential growth’ in demand for ultra-clear glass over the coming decades. It terms silica sand as the world’s 2nd most consumed resource after water and the ‘foundational ingredient of the modern city’, that’s fast running out. Silica sand is also used for concrete in construction projects.

The Australian company is developing 3 high-purity, long-life Western Australian silica sand projects namely Arrowsmith North Silica Sand Project and the Arrowsmith Central Silica Sand Project near Geraldton, and the Muchea Silica Sand Project about 50km north of Perth.

According to VRX’s feasibility studies, all 3 projects can remain in economic production for 25 years with potential to produce ‘responsibly sourced’ high-quality silica sand for over 100 years.

Announcing the signing of the MoU in March 2022, VRAX said the Xodus project is expected to produce sufficient supplies to also power energy-hungry glass-manufacturing facilities, potentially to be sited at its Arrowsmith North and Muchea Silica Sand projects.

“Our Muchea Silica Sand Project is ideally situated to take advantage of the high-grade silica sand resource to supply a glass manufacturing facility that is powered by a hydrogen energy source for net-zero production of ultra-clear glass for solar panels,” it stated back then.

Under the MoU, Xodus will be expected to supply between 9,000 tons to 11,000 tons of hydrogen annually to VRX, adequate to supply a substantial glass-making facility. The MoU expires on June 30, 2023, but may be extended. VRX said it may replace the MoU to a 3rd party intending to establish a glass-making facility using its own silica sand.

Dubbed MercuHy, the green hydrogen project is proposed to be located in the Mid-West region of Western Australia. It will be realized in phases starting with 150 MW in phase I, 500 MW in phase II and 1 GW by the end of phase III.

Xodus explains this extended commissioning to allow sufficient time for the green hydrogen market to develop and capitalize on future electrolyzer price reductions.

It seeks experienced capital and infrastructure partners interested in commercial green hydrogen progressing for MercurHy project.

“We believe the world needs high quality, scalable renewable energy projects such as MercurHy to bridge the gap between the size of the currently operational projects and the future gigawatt-sized developments,” said Xodus Managing Director Stephen Swindell. “The aim of this project is to push the supply chain forward, reduce technology risks and achieve cost reductions.”

Xodus stated that as one of the potential offtakers of this green hydrogen, VRX Silica ‘plans for the manufacture of solar panels locally to supply national and international demand’. Beyond VRX, it is also in advanced discussions with other potential offtakers.

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews. Anu is our solar news whirlwind. At TaiyangNews she covers everything that is of importance in the world of solar power.

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