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Hybrid Systems awarded Australian-first renewable hydrogen microgrid project

Horizon Power has awarded WA based integrated renewables specialist, Hybrid Systems Australia, the contract to build Australia’s first renewable hydrogen demonstration plant in a remote power system, in Denham, Western Australia. 

The hybrid solar and hydrogen power system will test the technical capability of hydrogen as a dispatchable power source in remote microgrids, in anticipation of the technology becoming cost competitive in the future. 

Horizon Power’s Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Unwin said the appointment of WA company, Hybrid Systems to deliver a first of its kind green hydrogen power supply to Denham was another step towards Horizon Power meeting its target of no new diesel generation systems from 2025.

“The future deployment of hydrogen into Horizon Power’s regional and remote power systems will play a huge part in helping to deliver on our 2030 goal of achieving grid-based renewables across 100% of our systems,” Ms Unwin said.

“This is a world leading trial which aims to demonstrate a future energy solution which encourages greater uptake of greener energy sources.

“By creating opportunities to work with industry to trial emerging technologies such as hydrogen, we are helping to solve real-world challenges while also contributing to the broadening of industry’s knowledge and expertise.”

Hybrid Systems, the integrated renewables division of Pacific Energy Ltd, will deliver a 704 kilowatt (kW) solar farm, 348 kW electrolyser, hydrogen compression and storage, and 100 kW fuel cell which will use renewable energy to power an electrolyser.  This will produce hydrogen which can be stored for later use in a fuel cell to deliver electricity.

Hybrid Systems Executive Director Mike Hall said the Denham hydrogen demonstration plant was a ground breaking project which would build on the business’s extensive integrated renewables expertise and add another key future energy supply to the business’s portfolio.

“This is an exciting project which is taking the integration of renewables to the next level by creating green hydrogen to use as an electricity supply,” Mr Hall said.

“Projects such as Denham are crucial in supporting the growth and sustainability of the industry to a point where this new technology can become both technically and commercially viable.”

Construction of the plant will start in August 2021, with commissioning to commence in December.

Hybrid Systems will engage with regional suppliers and contractors to support the delivery of the project.

The Commonwealth will provide $2.6 million towards the project through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), while the Western Australian Government will provide $5.7 million as part of the WA Recovery Plan, including $1.0 million from the WA Renewable Hydrogen Fund.

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