Australian Hydrogen Centre gets $1.28m ARENA backing

Australian Gas Networks Limited (AGN) announced today it had been awarded funding of $1.28 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to support the Australian Hydrogen Centre (AHC) to explore the feasibility of blending hydrogen into natural gas networks.

The AHC has also received funding support from SA’s Department for Energy and Mining and Victoria’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. Other AHC Founding Members include gas and energy infrastructure business AusNet Services, and leading renewable energy companies, ENGIE and Neoen.

The AHC will develop feasibility studies to inject up to 10 per cent renewable hydrogen into the gas distribution network of selected regional towns in South Australia and Victoria.

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Building on the feasibility studies for regional towns, the Australian Hydrogen Centre will also develop feasibility studies to inject up to 10 per cent renewable hydrogen into the gas distribution networks of South Australia and Victoria and develop a pathway to make the transition to 100 per cent hydrogen networks.

In addition, the Australian Hydrogen Centre will publish knowledge sharing reports to externalise key insights and data from the operations of AGN’s flagship project, Hydrogen Park South Australia (HyP SA). HyP SA will be operational by mid-this year. It will be Australia’s largest renewable hydrogen production facility, expected to be operational by mid-2020, where renewable hydrogen will be produced and blended into the gas distribution network in Mitchell Park, Adelaide. Approximately 710 households in Mitchell Park will be receiving a blended five per cent renewable gas–a combination of natural gas and renewable hydrogen.

The ARENA grant will cover approximately 31 per cent of the total estimated cost of $4.15 million to complete the work program of the Australian Hydrogen Centre by January 2022.

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AGN’s CEO Ben Wilson said AGN has commenced the new decade with a strategy that aims to deliver substantial, measurable and world-leading outcomes in minimising the current and future carbon footprint across the whole of our national gas distribution business.

“This public licence also requires total transparency so the studies will provide guidance as to both the best solution to deliver renewable gas into our networks while ensuring full engagement with all stakeholders and consumers about this step-change in Australian energy delivery,” Mr Wilson said.

“The 2020s will be an exciting time for the energy industry and consumers. ARENA’s foresight in backing the strategy for a roll-out of more renewably sourced gas in these two key major markets, is to be commended.”