The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is providing $950,000 in funding for gas company BOC for a renewable hydrogen production and refueling project in Queensland.
The $3.1-million pilot project will involve the installation of a 220 kW electrolyzer and a 100 kW solar array at BOC’s Bulwer Island gas facility to produce green hydrogen via electrolysis, and will utilize the industrial gas equipment and infrastructure onsite. The electrolyzer will have the capacity to produce 2400 kilograms of hydrogen per month.
The project also includes a hydrogen refueling station in Brisbane. In addition to supplying BOC’s existing industrial customers, 50 kg per day of renewable hydrogen will be produced by BOC for the vehicle refueling station.
Hydrogen from fossil fuels is currently produced at BOC’s Altona steam methane reformer in Melbourne. Once this new project is complete, green hydrogen produced at Bulwer Island will reduce the need to transport hydrogen. The electrolyzer will be configured to produce hydrogen via electrolysis drawn from the onsite solar or grid sourced renewable energy via a power purchase agreement.
ARENA CEO Darren Miller said BOC’s project would demonstrate the production and use of renewable hydrogen in refueling, and in existing gas production and supply chains.
Last year ARENA commissioned a report by ACIL Allen Consulting to look into the opportunities for Australia from hydrogen exports. The report found that Australia is in a strong position to become a leading exporter of hydrogen, as global demand increases over the next decade, predicting Australia’s hydrogen export industry could be worth $1.7 billion annually to the economy and create 2,800 jobs by 2030.
ARENA has thrown its weight behind Australia’s increasing focus on hydrogen as an alternative fuel source. Previously, ARENA has supported Toyota’s hydrogen centre at their Altona former car manufacturing plant, ATCO’s hydrogen microgrid in Western Australia and Jemena’s power-to-grid gas demonstration in western Sydney. Last year, ARENA also awarded $22.1 million to 16 hydrogen research projects. ARENA is also contributing to the National Hydrogen Strategy being led by Chief Scientist Alan Finkel.
BOC South Pacific’s Managing Director John Evans said this will leverage BOC’s existing infrastructure and expertise across the entire hydrogen supply chain, and support the growth of hydrogen as a zero emission fuel.