The state government of Western Australia has announced AUD 1.68 million ($1.15 million) in funding from its AUD 10 million Renewable Hydrogen Fund to support seven renewable hydrogen feasibility studies, including an electrolysis production plant and solar hydrogen for waste collection.
The AUD 1.68 million allocation will fund studies including the creation of solar hydrogen for waste collection and light vehicle fleets, a hydrogen refuelling hub, and the potential for an electrolysis hydrogen production plant. The potential hydrogen production plant, proposed by applicant ATCO Australia, received a AUD 375,000 feasibility study grant. The applicant is proposing a 10 MW electrolysis hydrogen production plant.
Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the state government received 19 feasibility study applications. It eventually chose seven of them, but the process itself confirmed the strong interest of developing a renewable hydrogen industry in Western Australia, he said.
Other potential outcomes of these studies include a 100% renewable energy power plant for an indigenous community in the Pilbara, the potential compatibility of the Dampier-to-Bunbury natural gas transmission pipeline with blended hydrogen, and the possible integration of renewable hydrogen with remote power stations.
The standalone system for the state’s remote Pilbara indigenous community would be a hybrid solar PV-battery-hydrogen system for the generation of a community microgrid, if the Murdoch University feasibility study finds it to be feasible.
“Western Australia needs to explore how we can produce, use and provide energy to our international partners through clean and reliable sources – renewable energy via hydrogen provides a means to do this,” MacTiernan said.
The state government’s Renewable Hydrogen Fund seeks to push Western Australia toward becoming a major renewable hydrogen producer, user and exporter.
By Blake Matich