Green hydrogen-fuelled power plant planned for South Australia

The government of South Australia will help fund one of the largest green hydrogen plants in the world, in a further indication of its ambition to become a national renewable energy hub.

Australia’s first ever hydrogen electrolyser plant will be constructed near Port Lincoln by Hydrogen Utility (H2U) and Germany’s thyssenkrupp, with the AUS$117.5 million facility utilising surplus wind and solar power to produce hydrogen.

This surplus renewable energy will then power a 10MW gas turbine and a 5MW hydrogen fuel cell to supply power to the grid, supporting two new solar farms and a micro-grid, while also including ‘distributed ammonia’ that can be used as an industrial fertiliser for farmers.

The project has been dubbed a ‘globally significant demonstrator project’ for the hydrogen energy sector and will receive a $4.7 million grant and a $7.5 million loan from South Australia’s Renewable Technology Fund.

Proponents of the national industry believe that it can create export industries to compete with the natural gas sector, and its added value chain can make it extremely valuable in the domestic market

“Hydrogen also offers an opportunity to create a new industry in South Australia where we can export our sun and wind resources to the world,” said energy minister Tom Koutsantonis.

“South Australia is at the global forefront of a broad range of storage technology, from big batteries, to virtual power plants to pumped hydro – now we will also be home to one of the largest hydrogen production facilities in the world as well.”