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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 biggest gas networks.

Pending regulatory, planning and funding approvals, Hydrogen Park Murray Valley (HyP Murray Valley) would become Australia’s largest renewable hydrogen production facility.

A joint venture between AGN and ENGIE , HyP Murray Valley would deliver up to 10% blended renewable gas to all residential, commercial and industrial gas customers across Albury and Wodonga.

Our renewable hydrogen production facility is proposed to be located at the corner of Old Barnawartha Road and Bidstrup Road, Wodonga, alongside the West Wodonga Wastewater Treatment Plant. The site is about 7km from the Wodonga CBD and 2.7km from the suburban fringe.

Here we will use renewable electricity and water (potentially recycled) from North East Water 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.

HyP Murray Valley will be a significant low carbon innovation for Australia, and has received up to $32.1 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

We are currently seeking planning approvals for the project from the City of Wodonga.

Pending regulatory approvals, construction is targeted for 2022 with renewable gas supplied to customers by early 2024.

Hydrogen Park Murray Valley timeline

How is renewable hydrogen produced?

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 renewable electricity and (potentially recycled) water to produce hydrogen, which will then be blended with natural gas, creating up to a 10% 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.

What’s next – the longer-term vision

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.

Project Benefits

 

Hydrogen Park Murray Valley supports Australia’s Hydrogen Strategy and the national target of reaching net zero carbon emissions by no later than 2050.

Benefits of hydrogen and blended gas

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, to power vehicles and produce electricity. Unlike natural gas or petrol, when burned, hydrogen produces only heat and water vapour – no carbon emissions.

Modelling indicates that decarbonising natural gas through renewable hydrogen can be up to 50% cheaper than electrification because additional electricity infrastructure such as poles, wires and additional batteries are not needed. It also 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:

  • being used as a transport fuel
  • providing a way to store renewable electricity
  • being able to generate renewable electricity through fuel cells and turbines
  • being a desirable product overseas, enabling a new export industry

How much difference will hydrogen blending make to emissions?

A blend of up to 10% 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.

What opportunities will the project bring to Albury and Wodonga?

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.

What it means for homes and businesses

Residents and businesses connected to the gas distribution network in and around Albury Wodonga, from Jindera to Tangambalanga will receive up to 10% blended renewable gas and contribute to a cleaner future.

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.

We are also delivering this project at a time when the cost to use our network, inclusive of HyP Murray Valley, is expected to fall.

Homes and businesses in the blended gas project area were notified of this project via a letterbox drop in November, 2021.

If you are unsure how this project applies to you, please contact us.

 

Gas volume on your meter

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.

No impact on network or appliances

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 renewable gas.

The characteristics of the blended renewable 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.

  • At Mitchell Park in South Australia we are delivering an up to 5% renewable gas blend to customers, with a proposal to deliver 10% blended renewable gas to the Queensland town of Gladstone
  • Jemena’s Western Sydney Green Gas project will begin blending renewable gas to customers in the second half of 2021
  • Projects in the Netherlands, UK and France are using hydrogen at up to 20% volume for hundreds of customers
  • a project in Germany has successfully blended up to 10% hydrogen volume

 

"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)

Regulations and approvals

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.

Using hydrogen and natural gas safely

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 won’t change the approach to safety that is currently in place. The blended renewable 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 you appliances are installed correctly and maintained. Importantly, if you ever smell gas or think there is a leak, you should report it.

Did You Know? ... We are going back to the future!

From the late 1960s through to the 1990s parts of Queensland relied on Towns Gas. Towns Gas was gas manufactured from coal and consisted of 50-60% hydrogen. Some places such as Hong Kong and Singapore still rely on Towns Gas. We switched from Towns Gas upon the discovery of natural gas, because at the time natural gas was considered more reliable and economic. Today, the costs of producing hydrogen are coming down, and we know that blended gas is the first step on our journey to lowering carbon emissions.

Reporting a gas leak

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.

Learn more about gas leaks and emergencies.

If you have questions about safety that haven't been answered here, please read our Fact Sheet FAQs or contact us.

Project Progress

 

HyP Murray Valley launched to Albury and Wodonga communities

February 2020

Australian Gas Networks Limited (AGN) awarded funding of $1.28 million from the Federal Government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to support the Australian Hydrogen Centre (AHC) to explore the feasibility of blending hydrogen into natural gas networks.

February 2021

o AGN – part of AGIG – partnering with global low carbon energy company ENGIE submit a bid to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) for a renewable hydrogen project HyP Murray Valley that will supply carbon free hydrogen at volumes of up to 10% to around 40000 existing residential, commercial and industrial connections.

May 2021

The Federal Government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) granted funding of up to $32.1 million to support Hydrogen Park Murray Valley.

The Australian Hydrogen Centre (AHC) selected Wodonga as the most suitable location for renewable hydrogen production following a multi-criteria analysis of more than 30 potential regions across South Australia and Victoria. The AHC considered the characteristics of the gas network and associated infrastructure that can support decarbonising local gas supplies, industry and the transport sector.

November 2021

We were pleased to launch our comprehensive engagement with the wider community on delivering up to 10% renewable blended gas to Albury and Wodonga.

We have introduced the project to homes and businesses across the border cities via a letterbox drop in late November, 2021, which reached around 4,100 properties. Advertisements in local print publications, on digital news platforms as well as on social media will help spread the word to the wider community.

Contact us

Need to get in touch? You can contact us to find out more about our projects or register for updates using the below details.

Phone

1300 001 001 and press option 8

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