PIONEERING SA HYDROGEN FACILITY GRANTED DEVELOPMENT APPROVAL
Australian Gas Networks (AGN) is pleased to announce that our Development Application has been approved by the South Australian Government for the construction and operation of the Company's innovative A$11.4 million hydrogen production facility to produce renewable hydrogen at the Tonsley Innovation District, south of Adelaide.
Adelaide-based AGN - part of the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG) – said development approval paved the way for plant construction to commence at Hydrogen Park SA (HyP SA), with first production of hydrogen targeted for mid-2020.
"This is a significant milestone in South Australia's continuing transition to a cleaner energy future. It propels the State's status as a leader in renewable technology and a first mover in hydrogen," AGN's Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ben Wilson, said today.
"At HyP SA we will be building a 1.25MW electrolyser as the first Australian demonstration project of its scale and size, with small quantities of renewable hydrogen produced and blended into the local gas distribution network next year," Mr Wilson said.
"This will enable residents in parts of the Adelaide suburb of Mitchell Park by mid next year, to become South Australia's first natural gas customers to receive a blended 5% renewable gas – a combination of natural gas and renewable hydrogen," he said.
AGN received a A$4.9 million grant from the South Australian Government’s Renewable Technology Fund to build and operate the project. Using a 1.25 MW proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser, renewable electricity will be used to split water into oxygen and hydrogen gas. The renewable hydrogen will then be blended with natural gas and supplied to 710 customers in southern areas of Mitchell Park via the existing natural gas network.
South Australia's Minister for Energy and Mining, Dan van Holst Pellekaan, said the facility is a key component of the government’s plans for renewable hydrogen.
“The release of our Hydrogen Action Plan this week shows we’re committed to growing hydrogen exports from South Australia, creating jobs and pushing renewable hydrogen into our energy mix,” said the Minister.
“This is a significant step forward towards an affordable and reliable renewable energy future for South Australia.”
Mr Wilson said AGN's HyP SA project represents the first step towards decarbonising South Australia’s gas networks.
"The decarbonisation challenge is huge and many solutions are needed for Australia to meet its emission reduction targets, and that includes gas stepping up to play its part," he said.
"Developing the hydrogen economy will also play a key role and the momentum around hydrogen is building with burgeoning research and development underway.
"Commercial hydrogen production is achievable and can decarbonise Australia's energy mix while at the same time accessing export markets
"Australia - including South Australia - is ideally placed for hydrogen export to North Asia," he said.
When burnt, hydrogen does not release any carbon emissions, only water and heat so it is essentially just another gas we can use in place of, or blended with, natural gas to provide energy and heat,” he said.
Customers receiving the blended 5% renewable gas will not notice any difference in their gas supply.
There is no additional cost to customers receiving the blended 5% renewable gas and the change will not impact any arrangements these customers have with their existing natural gas retailer.
Renewable hydrogen will comprise no more than 5% of the total blended renewable gas volume to be supplied to parts of Mitchell Park. The characteristics of the blended 5% renewable gas are consistent with the Australian Standard for natural gas supply.
Similar projects are under development in other states by other gas network operators.
Whilst natural gas is already a low-carbon option for homes and businesses, the blending of renewable hydrogen provides an opportunity to reduce carbon emissions even further.
The new blended 5% renewable gas is not the first time hydrogen has been used in Adelaide homes. Before natural gas pipelines were laid in the 1960s, Adelaide properties ran on ‘town gas’ which was manufactured from coal and typically comprised 50-60% hydrogen.
Hydrogen is already in use in parts of Europe as a blended residential gas for cooking, hot water and heating, varying between 10% and 20% of total gas content.
This project is a first step in AGN's vision to deliver 100% renewable gas. AGN is also actively pursuing additional hydrogen projects with a view to blending more hydrogen into its South Australian and other Australian networks.
For further information please contact:
Andrew Staniford, Chief Customer Officer, AGIG, T (08) 8418 1125
John Field, Field Public Relations T (08) 8234 9555 M (0418) 819 527
For information on the Hydrogen Park demonstration plant:
Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG) has approximately 2 million customers across every mainland state and the Northern territory, 34,000km of distribution networks, over 4,000km of gas transmission pipelines, 52 petajoules of gas storage capacity and remote power generation. AGIG’s vision is to be the leading gas infrastructure business in Australia - by delivering for customers, being a good employer, and being sustainably cost efficient.
In 2017, Australian Gas Networks (AGN), Dampier to Bunbury Pipeline (DBP) and Multinet Gas Networks (MGN) came together to form AGIG. The combined distribution, transmission and storage assets make AGIG one of the largest gas infrastructure businesses in Australia.