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Making renewable hydrogen for export

By Paul Grad |

A large renewable hydrogen production facility, called the Murchison House Station, near the coastal town of Kalbarri, has been unveiled for Western Australia, with plans for up to 5 GW of a combined solar and wind project. The project has been proposed by Hydrogen Renewables Australia (www.renewablehydrogen.com.au) — a renewable energy company combining wind and solar resources to produce 100% renewable H2 for export, primarily to Japan and South Korea. The strategic co-location of renewable sources aims to improve the cost-effectiveness of the production of electricity, due to the fact that, in that location, solar energy is available during the day, while strong wind energy is available mainly at night.

The project will be undertaken in three phases, including a demonstration phase for the production of transport fuels, the production of hydrogen fuels for natural gas blending in the Western Australian gas grid, followed by a large-scale expansion of production for export.

Siemens AG (Munich, Germany; www.siemens.com) is a technology partner for the project, and aims to use its Silyser electrolyzer technology, which is based on a proton exchange membrane (PEM), especially designed to handle wind and solar energy to produce H2.

The project is the second massive renewable energy project in Western Australia, following the 15-GW wind and solar facility proposed for the Pilbara region, known as the Asian Renewable Energy Hub, and backed by CWP Renewables (Newcastle, Australia; www.cwprenewbles.com), Macquarie Group (Sydney, Australia; www.macquarie.com) and wind-turbine manufacturer Vestas (Aarhus, Denmark; www.vestas.com). This project represents about $30 billion in investment and has the potential to generate 50 terawatt-hours of electricity per year.

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