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AGN is a longstanding owner of gas infrastructure in Albury and Wodonga, and throughout Victoria and regional areas of New South Wales.
These border cities are ideally located to become a hydrogen hub and form the next step in our renewable gas journey where we begin to decarbonise two of Australia’s highest growth regional towns with some of the highest gas use nationally.
The $53.2 million project is set to become one of Australia’s largest renewable hydrogen facilities, with capital and operational funding of $36.1 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, $12.3 million capital funding from the Victorian Government and additional financial backing from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. It is a project of global significance.
HyP Murray Valley will deliver up to 10% blended gas to all residential, commercial and industrial gas customers across Albury and Wodonga.
Our renewable hydrogen production facility will be located at the corner of Old Barnawartha Road and Bidstrup Road, Wodonga, alongside North East Water’s West Wodonga Wastewater Treatment Plant. The site is about 7km from the Wodonga CBD and 2.7km from the suburban fringe.
Being located next to North East Water’s West Wodonga WastewaterTreatment Plant, there is potential to use recycled water in the hydrogen production process and to provide oxygen for use in the wastewater treatment process.
Located along the Hume Highway, one of Australia’s busiest transport routes, HyP MV has the capacity to supply 100% renewable hydrogen to the transport sector and support the Victorian and NSW Government’s vision for the Hume Hydrogen Highway in the future.
Here we will use water and renewable electricity from the grid to produce renewable hydrogen using a process called electrolysis.
The renewable hydrogen will then be blended into the existing gas distribution network to deliver up to a 10% (by volume) renewable gas blend to approximately 40,000 residential and commercial gas connections and 20 industrial customers in Albury and Wodonga.
Construction is scheduled to start early next year with renewable gas expected to be supplied to customers in 2025.
Hydrogen is the most abundant molecule in the universe, however it’s not freely available - it must be separated from other elements.
HyP Murray Valley will use water and renewable electricity from the grid to produce hydrogen, which will then be blended with natural gas, creating an up to 10% (by volume) renewable gas blend.
The blended gas will be distributed to all homes and businesses using the existing natural gas distribution network in Albury and Wodonga.
Image: Schematic of Hydrogen Park Murray Valley.
At AGN we are committed to delivering for our customers today and tomorrow. We are targeting 10% renewable gas across our networks by 2030 and conversion to 100% renewable gas by no later than 2050 – and by 2040 as our stretch target. You can learn more about our plans here.
Renewable gas is not only key to decarbonise homes and businesses, it can also be used in vehicles, industry and as a way to export our solar and wind resources.
We are actively pursuing additional hydrogen projects with a view to blending more hydrogen into our Australian networks.
Hydrogen Park Murray Valley supports Australia’s Hydrogen Strategy and the national target of reaching net zero carbon emissions by no later than 2050.
Australia’s energy system relies on a range of sources, with natural gas and liquid fuels (petrol and diesel) used for more than double the energy provided by electricity. As we move towards net zero emissions, maintaining diverse sources of energy can help underpin energy security, reliability and affordability.
Like natural gas, hydrogen can be used to heat buildings, for cooking and hot water. Unlike natural gas or petrol, when used, hydrogen produces heat and water vapour – no carbon emissions.
Decarbonising natural gas through renewable sources such as hydrogen and biomethane means customers can retain their choice of energy supplier, and those industries relying on gas can continue to access it.
Hydrogen also has other benefits such as:
A blend of up to 10% (by volume) renewable hydrogen helps to lower carbon emissions relatively quickly without changes to appliances, pipes and meters.
Hydrogen Park Murray Valley will reduce carbon emissions by more than 3,500 tonnes, the equivalent to removing more than 1,300 passenger vehicles from the road.
Hydrogen Park Murray Valley has the potential to deliver a new energy source for industry and for transport, such as refuelling trucks. There is also the possibility of delivering oxygen, a by-product from the hydrogen production process, to supply to the West Wodonga Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Residents and businesses connected to the gas distribution network in and around Albury Wodonga, from Jindera to Tangambalanga will receive up to 10% (by volume) blended gas.
If you are in the blended gas project area and connected to the natural gas network, you do not need to do anything as part of the project. You will automatically receive the blended gas and continue to receive the same high level of gas supply reliability and safety. Importantly, your existing arrangements with gas retailers will continue.
Current residential appliances, gas pipes and the existing gas distribution network can continue to run on a renewable gas blend without any adjustments.
If you are unsure how this project applies to you, please contact us.
Hydrogen has a lower heating value than natural gas, this means hydrogen carries slightly less energy for the same volume. As a result, customers will need a slightly higher volume of blended gas to provide the same amount of energy compared to using natural gas. AGN will make a billing adjustment to ensure customers pay no more than natural gas. If you have questions about your billing that haven't been answered here, contact us.
Our networks are made of polyethylene and are suitable for transporting a hydrogen blended gas.
Your appliances will continue to work safely and reliably on up to 10% blended gas (by volume).
The characteristics of the blended gas supplied as part of this project are consistent with those set out for natural gas within the Australian Standard.
Any appliances sold in Australia are subject to testing to ensure they work safely and reliably with natural gas. They are tested with varying gas compositions to account for the varying sources of natural gas supplied around Australia. One of these “limit” gas compositions already contains 13% hydrogen, and therefore all certified household gas appliances sold in Australia have undergone a range of safety tests with this level of hydrogen.
There has been extensive research and several projects in Australia and overseas in relation to the blending of hydrogen with natural gas and its use in appliances.
"Hydrogen can be safely added to natural gas supplies at 10% by volume without changes to pipelines, appliances or regulations. Over time, and with modifications to the existing gas networks and appliances, hydrogen can completely replace natural gas for domestic cooking, heating and hot water." A report for the Council of Australian Governments (COAG)
At AGN, we are experts in safely and reliably developing and operating gas infrastructure. Our commitment to safety underpins all we do, and we must be satisfied that our renewable gas projects are safe before first production.
The properties of hydrogen are well known and there is a significant body of evidence on its safe handling, including from industries that have produced, transported and used hydrogen for more than 100 years.
Blended gas, comprising natural gas and hydrogen, is already being used safely around the world in homes and businesses. Customers should not notice any difference in the quality, safety or reliability in gas, nor should there be any noticeable difference in flame colour or gas smell.
We are subject to regulation by government bodies, which are designed to ensure our commitment to safety, reliability and service continues. We will have all necessary approvals in place before production begins.
Hydrogen, like other fuels, is flammable and this is a key reason it can provide us with energy. It also means we need to treat hydrogen and blended gas with respect, as we do natural gas, electricity, petrol and other energy carriers.
Blending up to 10% renewable hydrogen (by volume) won’t change the approach to safety that is currently in place. The blended gas will still retain the distinctive natural gas smell that allows you to detect any leak.
You should continue to follow the same safety principles you do with your natural gas supply, ensuring your appliances are installed correctly and maintained. Importantly, if you ever smell gas or think there is a leak, you should report it.
If you ever smell gas in the street or on your property before or from your gas meter you should call our Leaks and Emergency Services on 1800 GAS LEAK (1800 427 532) to locate and repair the leak.
If you think the leak is after the meter on a section of pipe work connecting your appliances, or on the appliance itself, you should contact a licensed gas fitter to fix the problem. Remember, any person undertaking work involving gas must be appropriately licensed.
Hydrogen Park Murray Valley reached financial close in June 2023. Read the announcement here.
Need to get in touch? You can contact us to find out more about our projects or register for updates using the below details.
The views expressed herein are not necessarily the views of the Australian Government or the Victorian Government, and neither the Australian Government nor the Victorian Government accept responsibility for any information or advice contained herein.