Australian developer pushes ahead with green hydrogen production plans


From pv magazine Australia

Frontier Energy has chosen alkaline water electrolysis to produce green hydrogen using clean energy supplied by the proposed Bristol Springs Solar (BSS) project, which is being developed near the town of Waroona, south of Perth, Australia.

The solar farm would have an initial generation capacity of 114 MWdc, but Frontier said additional land acquisition opportunities are available that could allow for an increase up to 500 MW. The company is also exploring the potential of adding a battery energy storage system and the development of green hydrogen production using clean energy from the BSS project.

Frontier Managing Director Mike Young said the company remains on track to commence construction of the Bristol Springs solar project in 2023. A study into the production of green hydrogen incorporating clean energy generated by the solar farm is due to be completed mid-year. The study, which is being conducted by Xodus Group, has already assessed the most appropriate hydrogen plant design, initial plant size and scalability, input power characteristics, and preferred technologies.

Frontier said it chose alkaline water electrolysis technology (AWE) for the hydrogen production process due to its lower cost, technical robustness, and “technical maturity” compared to alternative methods. Another advantage of AWE is the modular nature of its installation, which “allows for hydrogen production earlier than originally anticipated and for staged future expansion.”

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The Perth-based company also announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Norwegian company Nel Hydrogen, a division of Nel ASA, and Victorian-based gas transport and storage business ENGV, to assist in the development of the production plant and market distribution.

“The development of our Bristol Springs project is well advanced, but the current project is only the first stage of our long-term vision,” he said. “We aim to become one of the first commercial green hydrogen producers in Australia. The MoU with Nel and ENGV ensures that our green hydrogen strategy is carried out in the most efficient manner.”

Under the terms of the deal, Nel and ENGV will assist with the advancement of Frontier’s hydrogen study, including furthering the development of the green hydrogen production plant. Nel is expected to provide the hydrogen technology solutions, while ENGV will provide integration services.

Frontier said construction on the initial stage of the Bristol Springs Solar project is expected to commence in early 2023. It said it remains on track to release both the renewable expansion and the complete green hydrogen study by mid-year.

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