Experts explore hydrogen hub for western Sydney

Rendered image of Sydney Science Park (hydrogen hub)
Artist's impression of Sydney Science Park (Image: Celestino)

Researchers are exploring how to create a world-leading hydrogen hub as part of the Sydney Science Park greenfield development set to be built in the heart of Sydney’s western suburbs. 
Property developer Celestino is curating the transformation of a 287ha greenfield site, located within the Northern Gateway of the Western Sydney Aerotropolis. Serviced by the planned Luddenham Metro Station and within three kilometres of the Nancy Bird-Walton International Airport, Sydney Science Park will be developed into a Smart City. It will cluster high-technology industries and leaders in STEM education, healthcare, research and innovation within a mixed-use residential community surrounded by lush landscapes, high-quality amenities, open spaces and playgrounds.  

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The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) is leading a commercial feasibility assessment to establish Western Sydney’s first hydrogen hub, identifying Sydney Science Park as the best and most logical location.
Flagged as the Western Sydney Hydrogen Hub (WSH2H), it will seek to bring together like-minded partners with the technologies, networks, infrastructure and drive to create something special in the heart of Western Sydney.
It will aim to partner with researchers, educationalists, industry leaders and government to be a testing ground for new and emerging hydrogen technologies that challenge the ‘business as usual’ approach to providing sustainable energy to future communities, including to the Nancy Bird-Walton International Airport.  
UTS Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and IT Professor Ian Burnett said Sydney Science Park provided a gateway to bringing the latest research outcomes around hydrogen to a commercial setting.
“It will further advance technologies for a sustainable future featuring net-zero emission,” he said. 
Associate Professor Zhenguo Huang, who heads the UTS Hydrogen Energy Program, said Sydney Science Park presents a unique opportunity for the establishment of a clean and sustainable alternative energy supply. 
“We can’t use the existing technologies that are not going to help us to fight climate change or global warming—so we have no other option in a way but to explore technologies around hydrogen,” Associate Professor Huang said.
“All predictions are that in five years the cost of producing green hydrogen will be very competitive, so we need to position ourselves at this stage to create the infrastructure able to handle hydrogen.”
The study will also examine the potential benefit of a ‘hydrogen economy’ including job creation in Sydney’s west and the export of excess hydrogen to surrounding areas or even overseas. It will also identify key business opportunities as well as assisting to meet the State Government’s target to reduce emissions by 50 per cent by 2030. 
“With the increased global and local interest in using renewable hydrogen in transportation and within businesses and homes, Celestino is certainly interested in being part of the important conversation regarding green hydrogen being used as one of the key renewable energy sources in and around Sydney Science Park”, said Duncan Challen, General Manager Business Development for Celestino.   

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“This initiative aligns perfectly with our vision of breaking through the “business-as-usual” approach to building cities for the future and we are excited about the prospect that Sydney Science Park may just be the West’s epicentre for energy transformation, innovation and commercialisation”, he said. 
A key component of the WSH2H will be to explore leveraging the planned Sydney Water decentralised waste-water treatment plant to be built at Sydney Science Park. The proximity of this treatment plant to the WSH2H could potentially support producing renewable hydrogen and green gas from the waste material. 
UTS’s feasibility work is also supported by hydrogen industry leaders GrapheneX and Providence Asset Group who provide strategic commercial investment into hydrogen technology. 

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