The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) unveiled today plans for an AUD-180-million (USD 136m/EUR 122m) renewables-to-hydrogen investment by firms developing wind farms with ACT off-take contracts.
Climate change minister Simon Corbell said hydrogen, similar to batteries, would allow a greater use of renewables.
Under the plan, Neoen International and Megawatt Capital, the companies behind the Hornsdale wind project, will partner with Siemens (FRA:SIE) and Hyundai to build a 1.25-MW electrolyser to turn electricity into hydrogen. The project also includes the purchase of 20 hydrogen-powered vehicles by Hyundai, a refuelling station and service centre, and a research programme, for a combined investment of AUD 55 million.
Siemens will also open an office in Canberra as part of the initiative.
At the same time, Union Fenosa, which developed the Crookwell wind project, will spend AUD 125 million to study efficiencies in the production of hydrogen from green power and how it can be fed into the ACT gas network or used in the electricity sector. The company will partner with the Australian National University and ActewAGL Distribution in that research and development effort.
Last week, the ACT government presented the two winning wind projects -- Crookwell 2 and Hornsdale 3 -- in its latest tender for 200 MW of capacity. With these projects the ACT has secured enough renewable energy contracts to meet its 100% target by 2020.
(AUD 1 = USD 0.757/EUR 0.677)
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