Australia’s largest renewable gas trial, being developed by Jemena and co-funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), could result in homes and businesses in Sydney using green gas in as little as five years.
Announced on 21 October, Project H2GO is a $15 million trial that will use international technology to convert solar and wind power into hydrogen gas, which will then be stored for use across the Jemena Gas Network in New South Wales.
ARENA has committed $7.5 million in funding for the project.
Jemena Managing Director Frank Tudor said Project H2GO will see a 500 kW electrolyser, able to generate enough hydrogen to power approximately 250 homes, constructed in western Sydney.
“In the future Australians will need to decide what to do with excess renewable energy on very windy or very sunny days,” he said.
“Jemena’s Project H2GO will demonstrate how existing gas pipeline technology can store excess renewable energy for weeks and months, making it more efficient than batteries which can only store excess renewable energy for minutes or hours.
“Our trial will also explore how hydrogen can be used to power Australians who are on the move, with a hydrogen refuelling station being developed to support the burgeoning hydrogen-vehicle industry.”
ARENA CEO Darren Miller said hydrogen had huge potential to store renewable energy and supplement natural gas use.
“As Australia transitions to renewable energy, hydrogen could play an important role as energy storage and also has the effect of decarbonising the gas network with ‘green’ gas,” he said.
“There is significant potential in the power-to-gas value chain including the ability to stabilise the grid as well as pairing renewable energy with electrolysers to soak up and store surplus electricity.”
Jemena’s NSW gas network – which delivers gas to 1.3 million customers – is estimated to be capable of storing as much energy as 8 million Powerwall batteries without further investment or network augmentation.
Mr Tudor said the project lays the foundations for a renewable energy grid that would take advantage of Australia’s abundant renewable resources.
“Australia has established solar and wind powered industries, and this trial will leverage off this as we develop a hydrogen industry,” he said.
“It will be very exciting to explore the benefits for customers and how these could be rolled out more broadly across our NSW gas network, and potentially, across Australia, in the future.”
For more information visit the Jemena website.
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