Gold miner’s 1 GW solar, wind project to drive Australian hydrogen plan


From pv magazine Australia

Sydney-listed Province Resources has revealed plans to set up a hybrid solar PV and wind farm near Carnarvon, Western Australia, as part of a proposal to produce renewable hydrogen for domestic and foreign markets.

Province Resources said on Wednesday that its HyEnergy Renewable Hydrogen Project includes plans for a 1 GW wind and solar PV facility. The energy from that project will be used to produce approximately 60,000 tons of green hydrogen per year, or up to 300,000 tons of green ammonia.

“The bulk of the energy will be used for large-scale production of green hydrogen products for domestic and export markets with potentially a smaller proportion of generation capacity to be dedicated to large energy users in the Pilbara region,” Province Resources said.

The Perth-based company announced the plans after revealing that it had entered into a conditional agreement to acquire fellow Western Australia-based outfit Ozexco, which holds seven exploration licence applications in the state's Gascoyne region. Some of the tenements are considered prospective for salt, potash and mineral sands while others could become home to a renewable green hydrogen project.

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, Province Resources said that the location is ideal for the development of a large-scale renewable energy facility. The solar in Carnarvon ranks among the highest irradiance levels in the world, averaging 211 sunny days per year,. with an average solar exposure of 22 Mj or 6.24 kWh per day. And, due to being on the western edge of the continent, it has excellent wind resources.

The region also benefits from low intensity land use and low population density. The existing infrastructure includes the Dampier Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline (DBNGP). But the states’s geographical proximity to Asia is another strategic benefit.

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“We believe that the project will contribute significantly to the national, state and local objectives of new investment, new jobs, renewable energy sources and new export markets,” the company said.

It is expected the project will be delivered in three stages. The first stage will include a pilot trial of green hydrogen and green ammonia production. The trial will also investigate potential gas blending into the DBNGP.

The second stage will see the project scaled up to supply into the DBNGP with the aim of helping meet the state government’s objective of up to 10% green hydrogen in the pipeline by 2030. The third stage will deliver full-scale production for both domestic and export markets and the development of a liquified hydrogen loading facility in the Canarvon area.

Province Resources said it will look to start feasibility studies for both renewable power generation and green hydrogen production within the next 12 to 18 months, while also seeking to secure a binding memorandum of understanding with an independent power producer for the wind and solar energy required for the hydrogen production.

The company isn’t the only enterprise eyeing the development of a renewable hydrogen project in Western Australia. The state government has given environmental approval to the first stage of the Asian Renewable Energy Hub, a 15 GW hybrid solar and wind plant. The approval is a massive step forward for the project, which is backed by Sydney-based developer CWP Renewables and Macquarie Group.

Hydrogen Renewables Australia and Denmark Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) have also proposed the development of a renewable hydrogen production facility near Kalbarri. They have detailed plans for up to 5 GW of combined solar and wind projects to supply it.

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