Australian Gas Networks (AGN) – part of Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG) – has officially opened its $14.5 million hydrogen production facility Hydrogen Park South Australia and commenced blending renewable hydrogen into part of its natural gas distribution network in Adelaide.
At Hydrogen Park South Australia (HyP SA), located at the Tonsley Innovation District, a proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser uses renewable electricity (solar and wind) to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.
AGN will blend approximately 5 per cent renewable hydrogen into its existing natural gas distribution network to deliver a blended gas to more than 700 homes in parts of the Adelaide suburb of Mitchell Park.
AGN received a $4.9 million grant from the South Australian Government’s Renewable Technology Fund to build and operate the project.
Minister for Energy and Mining, Dan van Holst Pellekaan, said: “With our abundant renewable energy resources South Australia is well placed to become a world-class producer, supplier and exporter of green hydrogen and projects such as HyP SA are key to demonstrating our leadership in this exciting industry.”
The installation of Australia’s largest hydrogen electrolyser will advance the SA Government’s plans to deliver cleaner, more affordable energy to the state.
“Hydrogen is a fuel with tremendous potential and the Marshall Government is getting in on the ground floor to ensure we can service local, national and international demand for zero carbon hydrogen,” Minister van Holst Pellekaan said.
AGIG Chief Executive Officer, Ben Wilson, said the successful completion of HyP SA is an important milestone in South Australia’s renewable gas journey and reflects widening community recognition of hydrogen’s significant benefits.
“HyP SA is an Australian first and one of only a few projects in the world to deliver a renewable gas blend to homes connected to an existing gas network,” Mr Wilson said.
“The hydrogen produced at HyP SA shows how we can use the state’s abundant solar and wind resources to deliver carbon-free gas to homes and businesses. HyP SA demonstrates the low carbon future of the gas industry and illustrates the important role the nation’s gas networks will play in meeting the decarbonisation challenge.”
“[HyP SA provides] the template for the conversion of our entire gas network to safely and efficiently distribute renewable hydrogen to our customers. We are now focused on developing plans to deliver a complete carbon-free gas supply for our customers.”
The HyP SA facility also includes tube trailer refilling infrastructure to supply renewable hydrogen to industry across South Australia via road transport.
HyP SA is capable of producing approximately 175 tonnes of hydrogen per annum, equal to the total gas use of around 1,500 South Australian homes, or tens of thousands of homes on a blended gas basis. HyP SA is also the first of several renewable hydrogen projects AGIG is developing around Australia.
The company has announced plans for a similar plant in Gladstone, Queensland; is developing detailed plans to blend between 10 per cent and 100 per cent renewable hydrogen into gas networks in both South Australia and Victoria through the Australian Hydrogen Centre; and is assessing how hydrogen can be introduced into the Dampier to Bunbury natural gas transmission pipeline in Western Australia.
Additionally, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency recently awarded two AGIG projects funding as part of the Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round. Hydrogen Park Murray Valley – partnering with ENGIE – in Wodonga, Victoria and the Clean Energy Innovation Park – partnering with ATCO Australia – in Warradarge, Western Australia are both 10-megawatt projects that will look to blend into gas distribution networks as well as supply industry and transport.