Countrywide and Wirsol to develop solar-to-hydrogen in Tas

hydrogen graphic in blue and white with h2 symbol (forum supply chain hydrogen)
Image: Shutterstock

Countrywide Hydrogen and WIRSOL Energy will explore the development of behind-the-meter solar-to-hydrogen projects in Tasmania. 

Countrywide managing director Geoffrey Drucker said, “With an established solar project development track record in Australia, we reached out to WIRSOL to determine their interest in co-developing behind-the-meter solar to hydrogen projects from two perspectives. 

Related article: Countrywide driving Tasmania’s green hydrogen future

“One is to assist us with our renewable hydrogen projects in Tasmania and the other is to determine where it may be feasible to co-locate hydrogen production facilities on WIRSOL’s established solar farms throughout Australia,” he said. 

WIRSOL managing director Sigi Psutka said, “We are delighted to partner with Countrywide and be conducting the initial assessments of the projects in Tasmania. Our in-house team works to challenge the norm and be the among the first in the field to integrate new technologies like onsite hydrogen production and trading to play our part in the ongoing and crucially important transition away from fossil energy sources.” 

Countrywide has two projects under development in Tasmania in the north and south of the state with a view to establishing Tasmania as a showcase hydrogen state. 

Under the agreement WIRSOL will evaluate each project location to scope the installation of the optimum scaled solar and possibly battery installation to provide Countrywide with the lowest cost of energy for hydrogen production, and hence the lowest cost of hydrogen. 

With renewable hydrogen production via electrolysis relying on only two inputs, electricity and water, minimising the cost of power via behind-the-meter solar power will deliver the lowest hydrogen supply price to encourage potential customers to embrace the transition from fossil fuels like diesel and natural gas to emission-free hydrogen. 

Drucker said, “A domestic supply portfolio of projects will not only add value to the state and national economies, but it will also play a key role in the nation meeting its emission reduction targets by decarbonising transport (road and rail), the natural gas networks and remote power generation. 

Related article: New hydrogen project to green Tasmanian industry

Being a huge nation geographically, road transport is a critical contributor to the economy, but sadly a major emitter. Countrywide and WIRSOL jointly recognise that for motivation to transition to hydrogen, price and a refuelling network are critical. To that end behind-the-meter electricity generation will deliver the lowest cost of hydrogen with solar being the most viable option in terms of installation timing and capex, while Tasmania will only require three refuelling stations to cover the state.” 

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