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Project overview
  • Lead Organisation

    Lochard Energy (Iona Operations) Pty Ltd


    Melbourne, Victoria

    ARENA Program

    Advancing Renewables Program

  • Start date

    1 February 2024

    End date

    24 October 2025

  • Project Partners
    Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Worley Services Pty Ltd (Worley), Schlumberger Australia Pty Ltd (SLB)


Lochard Energy are undertaking a feasibility study that will investigate the commercial and technical viability of storing renewable hydrogen underground in existing gas reservoirs in Southwest Victoria. 


This project was selected as part of ARENA’s Advancing Renewables Program. 

The Project will contribute to the program outcomes of reduction in the cost of renewable energy, in particular hydrogen, and improvement in the commercial readiness of renewable energy technologies. 

Research undertaken both within Australia and globally has identified that underground hydrogen storage in depleted gas fields has the potential to be the lowest cost bulk hydrogen storage technology. 

Repurposing depleted gas fields around Australia for hydrogen storage could offer low-cost hydrogen storage for the Australian hydrogen market, support lower cost electricity, assist in achieving increased stability of renewables within the National Energy Market, and provide a firm supply of hydrogen to industrial customers. 

The project has the potential to add significant volume of energy storage which could reduce the overall cost of the energy transition through savings in renewable energy developments and transmission and result in a lower overall cost of electricity to the end consumer for a market increasingly supplied by renewables. 


The project will involve a feasibility study into the use of existing naturally occurring, gas reservoirs in Southwest Victoria for storage and retrieval of renewable hydrogen. The feasibility study will inform the next steps in Lochard Energy’s H2RESTORE Project. 

 Key activities that will be undertaken as part of the Project include: 

  1. seek to gain further understanding of subsurface conditions, assessing the safety and technical viability of large-scale underground storage of hydrogen in porous media (sandstone)  
  2. concept designs of renewable hydrogen production and power generation facilities will be developed 
  3. community and stakeholder engagement, and environmental approvals pathway, including site identification, water supply source confirmed, and 
  4. development of the economic model, capital cost refinement and input optimisation to inform the commercial viability of the techniques and processes tested. 


The project involves undertaking a feasibility study that will inform the technical and commercial viability of Lochard Energy’s proposed H2RESTORE Project.  

The feasibility study is expected to: 

  • determine the technical and economic feasibility of underground hydrogen storage;  
  • assess and confirm the safety and integrity of storing hydrogen underground; 
  • understand stakeholder and community engagement of the project;  
  • progress development of a demonstration pilot, as well as the longer-term commercial development concept; and 
  • inform investment decisions for progression of the H2RESTORE Project to the pilot and commercialisation stages.

Additional impact

H2RESTORE closely aligns with Victoria’s Renewable Hydrogen Industry Plan and holds the potential to be a key enabler of Victoria’s ambitious net-zero targets. The Project could serve as a long-duration energy storage reserve for Victoria and help catalyse the growth of a vibrant hydrogen economy, fostering regional economic development along the way. 

H2RESTORE holds true potential as a transformative opportunity with various benefits to Victoria including attracting global investor confidence, utilising existing infrastructure, resource efficiency, job creation and economic growth, knowledge sharing and education.  

H2RESTORE can help advance Australia’s vision for a sustainable future and enable a smoother energy transition.  

Last updated
22 March 2024
Last updated 22 March 2024
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