South Australia takes first step towards building hydrogen ‘superhub’
In recent years, the state of South Australia has become a leader in new, innovative technologies, which are helping drive forward the low-carbon transition.
Helped by its partnership with Tesla, the Labor government has built both the world’s largest battery plant and the largest ‘virtual power plant’, linking rooftop solar and home battery storage systems.
The regional government has now announced a new plan to build a hydrogen storage plant using local wind and solar farms, again thought to be the largest of its kind in the world.
French developer Neoen, which helped build the Tesla battery last year, has been awarded $1 million from the state’s Renewable Technology Fund towards a feasibility study into building 50 megawatt hydrogen electrolysers. The facility, to be built north of Adelaide at Crystal Brook, will be co-located next to a 300 megawatt wind and solar farm.
The move forms part of the state government’s roadmap to develop hydrogen technology at scale and become a leader in the nascent clean sector; it forms the first step towards the possibility of creating a new “hydrogen superhub” on the site.
Minister for Energy, Tom Koutsantonis, explained that “our hydrogen roadmap has laid the groundwork for South Australia to become a world leader in the emerging hydrogen production industry, and to benefit from the economic opportunities likely to flow from it”.
“More renewable energy means cheaper power, and I’m pleased the state government can partner with Neoen to once again develop a world-leading renewable energy and storage project following the construction of the Tesla battery at Jamestown.
“The superhub will enable Neoen to produce renewable hydrogen for overseas export markets, and create 300 construction and ongoing jobs for South Australia”, he added.
Franck Woitiez, the head of Neon’s Australian also argued that the superhub could eventually help Australia become an energy exporter: “It has the potential to reach beyond our electricity grids, and supply South Australia’s locally produced clean energy to other states and to our nearby trading partners”.
Photo Credit: Neoen