Seven hydrogen projects vie for $70 million in funding

Seven projects with a collective value of half a billion dollars have advanced to the next stage of ARENA’s hydrogen funding round.

ARENA has today announced that seven hydrogen electrolyser projects will vie for $70 million in funding as part of a competitive funding round for renewable hydrogen deployment projects.

The round opened in April as part of efforts to fast-track the commercialisation of electrolyser technology and contribute to an Australian Government goal of producing hydrogen for less than $2 per kilogram.

The seven shortlisted applicants have been selected from a field of 36 that applied to the funding round. ARENA expects to award two of the seven projects with funding, with construction planned to commence in 2022.

The shortlisted applicants are:

  1. APT Management Services Pty Limited
  2. ATCO Australia Pty Ltd
  3. Australian Gas Networks Limited
  4. BHP Billiton Nickel West Pty Ltd
  5. Engie Renewables Australia Pty Ltd
  6. Macquarie Corporate Holdings Pty Limited
  7. Woodside Energy Ltd

Four of the projects are planned for Western Australia and one is located in each of Tasmania, Queensland and Victoria.

The projects collectively seek $200 million in grant funding towards a total project value of almost $500 million. Each will deploy electrolysers that are 10 MW in capacity or larger for a variety of end uses, including transport, gas injection, renewable ammonia production, power and industrial applications.

Each electrolyser will be powered by renewable electricity, either directly or through a contracting approach. The applicants may also be considered for financing from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation under their $300 million Advancing Hydrogen Fund.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said he is pleased to invite the seven projects to submit full applications for funding.

“Our ultimate goal is to bring the price of renewable hydrogen down to be competitive with other forms of energy and be at the forefront of renewable hydrogen production,” Darren Miller said.

“The best way to help build a hydrogen industry is to support projects that will help demonstrate the technology at scale, and share the lessons learned to help the industry as a whole reduce risk and costs as well as increase efficiency.”

“A thriving renewable hydrogen production sector will not only help our heavy industry and transport sectors to reduce emissions, but will provide the platform for Australia to export renewable energy and reduce emissions beyond our borders,” he said.

New funding to build on past investments

ARENA has already committed over $55 million in funding to renewable hydrogen feasibility studies and demonstrations.

Earlier this year, $1.28 million in funding was allocated to Australian Gas Networks to establish a new centre that will investigate the feasibility of blending hydrogen into the Victorian and South Australian gas networks.

The project is building on the work of the Hydrogen Park SA project in Adelaide, which has set out to blend a low concentration of hydrogen into a gas network that supplies 710 properties.

Green hydrogen plant illustration
An artist’s impression of hydrogen production at the Hydrogen Park SA

The gas industry anticipates that hydrogen will play a major role in decarbonising Australia’s natural gas networks and help to achieve a target of reaching ‘near’ zero emissions by 2050. The goal is set out in Gas Vision 2050, a pathway created by the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group and five industry peak bodies.

Launched in 2017 and updated in October 2019, the vision has tracked progress in a report – Hydrogen Innovation Delivering on the Vision. Two of the four featured projects have received support from ARENA – ATCO’s Clean Energy Innovation Hub and Western Sydney’s Green Gas Project.

Read more about ARENA’s renewable hydrogen projects.