Site work began in the past week on Australia’s first community hydrogen power plant in Denham, Western Australia, which will provide an innovative and renewable alternative to diesel.
Hydrogen Industry Minister Alannah MacTiernan was on site for the project, which will generate enough renewable hydrogen to power 100 residential homes and help decarbonise the future of the electricity supply chain.
The project marks the first time a renewable hydrogen powered remote microgrid will be used in the community within Australia, with Denham chosen due to its proximity to solar and wind resources and land availability.
The WA government has invested $9.3 million into the project together with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
“Western Australia has an extraordinary opportunity to become a leader in the emerging renewable hydrogen industry and the government is on the front foot in taking advantage of this opportunity,” said MacTiernan.
“The demonstration project in Denham is leading the rollout of hydrogen plants in community-based remote microgrids and has the potential to be implemented across the state to benefit a wide range of small towns and communities,” she said.
To enable excess renewable energy to produce renewable hydrogen stored on site, Horizon Power will install a 704kW solar farm, 348kW hydrogen electrolyser and a 100kW fuel cell in Denham to power homes as needed.
“The Denham project will keep Horizon Power at the leading edge of new technologies as we work towards the McGowan Government’s commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The plant will extend WA’s knowledge of hydrogen systems and allow Horizon Power to consider implementing microgrids and hydrogen technology into other regional areas,” Energy Minister Bill Johnston commented.
“Investing in renewable hydrogen sends a clear message to the industry that we are serious about Western Australia being powered by clean energy,” MacTiernan said.
Construction of the hydrogen power plant is due to commence in August, with the project commissioned and operational by early 2022.