ARENA announces $1.5M to fund green hydrogen innovation hub in Western Australia; ATCO hydrogen microgrid
On behalf of the Australian Government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced $1.5 million toward the funding of Australia’s first green hydrogen innovation hub at Jandakot in Western Australia. Total project value is $3.3 million.
In Jandakot, gas company ATCO will trial the production, storage and use of renewable hydrogen to energize a commercial-scale microgrid, testing the use of hydrogen in different settings and applications including in household appliances.
The development project will evaluate the potential for renewable hydrogen to be generated, stored and used at a larger scale. ATCO aims to assess the practicalities of replacing natural gas with hydrogen at a city-wide scale across a municipality.
Green hydrogen will be produced from on-site solar using electrolysis, a range of gas appliances and blending hydrogen into the natural gas pipeline.
The project will also build upon ATCO’s distributed energy hybrid energy system trial called GasSola which includes the installation of rooftop solar with battery storage and standby natural gas generation for nine residential sites in Western Australia’s south west.
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the ATCO trial could lead to hydrogen being used more widely across Australia.
Green hydrogen offers opportunities to provide carbon free energy to cities and towns, while leveraging existing natural gas infrastructure. Along with ARENA’s R&D funding round focussed on exporting hydrogen, this project will explore the opportunities for hydrogen in Australia, which could also include the development of standards for green hydrogen production, distribution and use.—Ivor Frischknecht