The Hunter Valley Hydrogen Hub has taken another step forward today with another funding injection from the Federal Government.
Two companies, Origin Energy and Orica, signed a memorandum of understanding last year to conduct a feasibility study into establishing the Hub that would produce green hydrogen from recycled water sources and renewable electricity using a grid connected 55-megawatt electrolyser.
Now, the Albanese Government has agreed to invest $70 million into the project.
The funding will build the infrastructure needed at Kooragang Island to produce up to 5500 tonnes of renewable hydrogen each year.
Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen said renewable hydrogen was an essential part of Australia’s renewable energy transformation.
“Investing in an Australian renewable hydrogen industry is investing in Australia’s future,
“Newcastle and the Hunter Region have been industrial and economic powerhouses for decades, making the Port of Newcastle an ideal location for a renewable hydrogen hub that can support decarbonisation of heavy industry in the region and connect our renewable resources to the world.
“This project is the next step towards using locally produced renewable hydrogen in Australia to reduce our industrial emissions and develop a renewable export future.”
Renewable hydrogen will be produced using a 55 MW electrolyser, which is over 5 times larger than the biggest electrolyser currently at final investment decision.
Construction is set to be begin in 2025 and start operating the following year.
As well as producing the hydrogen at the site, hydrogen refuelling stations will also be available for buses and trucks at the Hub.
It comes after fifteen organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding to get involved in the development of the 220-hectare Clean Energy Precinct at the Port of Newcastle.
Companies involved including Japanese giant Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Korean power utility Kepco and Australian firms Origin Energy and Orica.
The University of Newcastle also signed the agreement with Lake Macquarie City Council and the NSW Government’s EnergyCo.