Western Australia has hit another key milestone in the renewable hydrogen race, with renewable hydrogen blended into the natural gas network for the first time and the State’s first high-speed hydrogen refueller officially open.
The milestones mean Western Australia has reached all four 2022 targets set out in the State’s Renewable Hydrogen Strategy.
Natural gas company ATCO has today begun blending a small percentage of renewable hydrogen into a portion of the natural gas distribution network within the City of Cockburn.
The project is one of the largest of its kind in Australia, and is expected to reach more than 2,700 businesses and households.
It is the first time in WA that renewable hydrogen has been used in the natural gas supply.
ATCO plans to increase and test blend percentages from two per cent to working towards up to 10 per cent.
ATCO and Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) also today opened WA’s first renewable hydrogen refuelling station. The station can fill hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, such as the Toyota Mirai, with renewable hydrogen in five minutes. The Toyota Mirai can travel up to 500 kilometres on a full tank, emissions free.
The station will be used by ATCO and FFI to refuel their fleet of Toyota Mirai, as well as agreed third parties such as WA Police.
The station and blending project will use renewable hydrogen produced onsite in Jandakot at ATCO’s Clean Energy Innovation Hub from renewable electricity through electrolysis.
The McGowan Government has invested in both projects, contributing $1.97 million towards the Hydrogen Blending Project and $1 million to the hydrogen refuelling station.
In total, the McGowan Government has committed $162.5 million to support the development of the renewable hydrogen industry in Western Australia following the release of the Renewable Hydrogen Strategy in 2019.
The strategy set out four clear targets for completion in 2022 – a refuelling facility available in WA, distribution of hydrogen into the gas network, use of hydrogen in a remote location, and approval of an export project.
The milestones today mean the McGowan Government has hit all four 2022 targets on time, following the commissioning of the Denham hydrogen plant in October and the commencement of construction on the joint Yara/ENGIE Yuri project in the Pilbara.
The announcement comes ahead of the Australian Hydrogen Conference on 6-7 December, which brings together the sector’s energy leaders to help shape the future of this rapidly expanding sector not only in Western Australia but also across the nation and overseas.
More than 800 delegates and speakers are expected to attend.
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“The milestones achieved by ATCO projects are not just great news for the company, they are great news for WA.
“More and more, we are seeing local projects take renewable hydrogen as a clean energy source from theory to reality.
“Hydrogen is the fuel of the future, and my Government is positioning Western Australia at the front of the hydrogen race, driving local jobs and helping to diversify the economy.”
As stated by Hydrogen Industry Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“Our 2022 goals were to help kickstart a renewable hydrogen industry in WA – and build important skills and knowledge for future growth.
“The commissioning of ATCO’s hydrogen blending facility has helped us achieve the goal of distributing renewable hydrogen in the WA gas network by 2022.
“Through the ATCO Hydrogen Refuelling Station, we have met our goal of having an operational renewable hydrogen refuelling station in WA by 2022.
“Our goals going forward will change as we fast track our capacity to become a hydrogen world player.”
As stated by Energy Minister Bill Johnston:
“As WA transitions to net zero emissions by 2050, renewable hydrogen will have a lead role to play in meeting our energy needs.
“ATCO’s Hydrogen Blending Project shows how emerging technology can be integrated with existing assets in the gas distribution system and balance energy needs.
“Blending renewable hydrogen with natural gas creates a pathway to lower emissions and drives us towards our net zero future.”