July 3 (Renewables Now) - The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) said today it has awarded a AUD-1.5-million (USD 1.1m/EUR 949,000) grant to fund Australia's first green hydrogen innovation hub in Western Australia.
The funding will go towards the AUD-3.3-million Clean Energy Innovation Hub (CEIH) project of ATCO (TSE:ACO.X) at the Canadian company's Jandakot Operations Centre in Western Australia. The project will involve the production of renewable hydrogen from on-site solar via electrolysis, and its storage and use to energise a commercial-scale microgrid.
According to ATCO, the project will provide insights into optimising hydrogen storage and distribution solutions, blending hydrogen with natural gas in the existing system and how hydrogen could act as a balancing fuel to support the grid.
ATCO Australia managing director and chief operating officer Pat Creaghan said that what sets the project apart is the use of excess renewable energy to produce hydrogen.
"Along with ARENA’s R&D funding round focused on exporting hydrogen, this project will explore the opportunities for hydrogen in Australia, which could also include the development of standards for green hydrogen production, distribution and use," commented ARENA chief executive Ivor Frischknecht.
The hub is expected to be operational in 2019.
(AUD 1 = USD 0.738/EUR 0.633)