• South Australia has launched a five-year demonstration project for renewable hydrogen production for AUD 11.4 million
  • It consists of installation of a 1.25 MW electrolyser which will produce hydrogen through renewable electricity and water
  • Renewable hydrogen thus produced will be blended with natural gas and supplied to 710 homes and businesses through existing gas supply infrastructure
  • State government is supporting the AGN project with AUD 4.9 million ($3.36 million) grant from its Renewable Technology Fund

A green hydrogen production facility in South Australia has entered the construction phase at the Tonsley Innovation District. Being built by Australian Gas Networks (AGN), part of Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG), the Hydrogen Park SA (HyP SA) will start producing renewable hydrogen around mid-2020.

Being built for AUD 11.4 million ($7.8 million), the HyP SA is a five-year demonstration project that will see the installation of a 1.25 MW proton exchange membrane (PEM) elctrolyser that will produce renewable electricity and water to produce hydrogen. Small quantities of this renewable hydrogen will then be injected into the state’s gas supply and blended into local gas distribution network in 2020.

It will be supplied to 710 customers in southern areas of Mitchell Park via the existing natural gas network.

The 1.25 MW electrolyser is stated by the state government to be the largest of its kind in the country.

When burnt, hydrogen does not release any carbon emissions, only water and heat so it is essentially just another gas we can use in place of, or blended with, natural gas to provide energy and heat. Customers receiving the blended 5% renewable gas will not notice any difference in their gas supply,” said AGN CEO Ben Wilson. “There is no additional cost to customers receiving the blended 5% renewable gas and the change will not impact any arrangements these customers have with their existing natural gas retailer.”  

The project is also supported by a AUD 4.9 million ($3.36 million) grant from the state government’s Renewable Technology Fund. AGN said it is exploring more opportunities to use green hydrogen including for industrial customers and transport sectors.

Australia is emerging as one of the leading nations to work on producing hydrogen through renewable electricity from solar and wind. It has some huge projects lined up including Hydrogen Renewables Australia and Siemens’ renewable hydrogen production project powered by 5 GW combined wind and solar in Western Australia, which was preceded by another similar project where hydrogen is planned to be produced with the help of 15 GW wind and solar in Pilbara (see Another RE Powered Hydrogen Project In Australia).

For South Australia, placed by the Climate Council on top of Australian states transitioning to renewable energy, the state’s Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the region is well positioned to not only produce and consumer 100% green hydrogen but to also export it to countries like Korea, Japan, China and Singapore. “Exporting hydrogen made from South Australia’s abundant sun and wind resources presents a significant economic opportunity for our state and we are working towards creating this new industry,” explained Pellekaan.