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The Queensland Government has announced plans for a new renewable hydrogen production facility on the Darling Downs, with a demonstration facility near Chinchilla to be operational in less than two years.

Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said the new hydrogen plant would be owned by the State Government and produce 50,000kg of renewable hydrogen each year.

“To position our state to capitalise on the renewables revolution, as a state, we must invest in new assets and partner with the private sector to create jobs,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

Queensland Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, Mick de Brenni, said publicly-owned generator CS Energy had been met with strong interest from potential domestic off-takers after a successful feasibility study with Japanese industrial giant IHI Corporation Japan.

“The Kogan Creek project is an opportunity for publicly-owned CS Energy to stake its territory in the hydrogen sector and expand Queenslanders’ ownership of renewable energy assets,” Mr de Brenni said.

“Better yet, CS Energy are looking to support the decarbonisation of the heavy transport and haulage market with their locally produced zero-emission fuel and discussions are well advanced with multiple potential off-takers. 

“Transport is Australia’s second-largest emitter after the electricity sector, so making renewable hydrogen available offers enormous potential for transport sector innovation in Queensland.”

Mr de Brenni said the project was unique because the hydrogen produced will use “behind the meter” renewable energy rather than power from the grid, in a demonstration that traditional sectors can innovate and expand their market offering.

“The plant will be built beside the highly efficient Kogan Creek Power Station, and will include the co-location of a solar farm, battery, hydrogen electrolyser and hydrogen fuel cell.”

CS Energy CEO, Andrew Bills, said the feasibility study had confirmed the optimum design of the renewable hydrogen plant and that Kogan Creek Power Station was a good location with existing assets and plenty of space for expansion opportunities.

“This project offers multiple benefits for CS Energy because of hydrogen’s ability to be used as both a fuel and as a way to store energy,” Mr Bills said.

“In addition to selling hydrogen into the domestic market, CS Energy can use the plant’s battery to provide grid stability services in the Frequency Control Ancillary Services Market.”

Construction is expected to commence in 2022, and commissioning in early 2023.

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