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Jemena has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the development of hydrogen production and blending facilities with Spanish-based Solarig.

The parties will collaborate to assess the feasibility and facilitate the supply of zero-carbon renewable hydrogen to gas users connected to Jemena’s network under the MOU.

The MOU between Solarig and Jemena focuses first on the development of hydrogen production and blending facilities in regional New South Wales, designed to initially inject up to 35TJ of renewable hydrogen per year into Jemena’s New South Wales gas distribution network. 

If successful, both parties will work to further develop additional renewable hydrogen initiatives designed to help to build Australia’s renewable hydrogen market and position New South Wales as a prominent national and international hub.

Jemena will undertake feasibility assessments for renewable hydrogen as part of the MOU,  to be blended into the network so it can be used by homes, businesses, and industrial customers downstream of the injection site.

Solarig Australian Country Manager, Andrew Want, said Australia’s transition to low-carbon energy, transport and industry is accelerating at pace and solutions to decarbonise gas and liquid fuels are an urgent priority.  

“Solarig in Australia is leading the development of green hydrogen infrastructure to support industries like transport, agriculture and mining in their decarbonisation efforts,” Mr Want said.

“Our operations in Australia are focused on building infrastructure across regional Australia, where the renewable energy resources are and our major industries are – such as mining, agriculture and logistics – providing long-term economic development and sustainable employment opportunities to communities in regional areas, in this case in New South Wales.”

Jemena Managing Director, David Gillespie, said Jemena was always looking for opportunities to support a renewable gas market with a view to providing a long-term decarbonisation pathway for gas, while also contributing to broader economy-wide decarbonisation efforts.

“Australia is right in the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to decarbonise our energy sector. But we know there is not one silver bullet that is going to help us reach our emission reduction targets,” Mr Gillespie said.

“We are going to need a mix of renewable energy fuels to ensure Australia can reach net zero, while still delivering safe and reliable energy. Forming these types of relationships is essential to developing a robust renewable gas sector.”

Mr Want said the hydrogen produced will be generated using 100 per cent renewable electricity from Solarig-developed generation projects or through the purchase of renewable energy.

Solarig develops, finances, builds and operates infrastructure for the energy transition. It currently manages more than 10GW of photovoltaic assets and has a portfolio of more than 20GW of power projects in 12 countries, with a strong presence in Europe, Central and South America, Japan, and Australia.

The Solarig project in regional New South Wales is one of the first commercial renewable hydrogen facilities proposed for connection to the Jemena network and, subject to meeting the pre-feasibility requirements, will be one of the first commercial renewable hydrogen blending projects in Australia.

Image: https://www.shutterstock.com/g/markzetkin

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