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Stanwell explores hydrogen opportunity

Stanwell Corporation will assess the feasibility of a renewable hydrogen demonstration plant at the Stanwell Power Station in Queensland.

The $5 million study will investigate the technical and economic feasibility of the installation of 10 MW or greater hydrogen electrolysis at the station site southwest of Rockhampton.

If built, it would become the largest hydrogen electrolysis plant in Australia.

Along with determining the optimal design, a key outcome of the study will be to define the highest value end use for the renewable energy produced.

Stanwell Power Station offers a unique proposition in demonstrating the role that renewable hydrogen production can play to benefit the electricity system.

The hydrogen electrolyser could be used as a complementary energy market load that can ramp up in times of excess energy supply, such as peak solar output during the day.

It could also aid system security through participation in Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) markets or future markets such as Fast Frequency Response (FFR).

By using an existing power station, there are also benefits in being able to use pre-existing land approval, network connection and access to demineralised water which is required for hydrogen production.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is contributing $1.25 million to the study.

ARENA chief executive Darren Miller said the Stanwell project continues the agency’s commitment to driving innovation in the hydrogen supply chain.

“Through Stanwell’s feasibility study we’re showing a new option for producing and using renewable hydrogen. This will create opportunities across the domestic economy and help to position Australia to become a major renewable energy exporter,” Miller said.

“The construction and operation of a utility scale electrolyser is important to demonstrate the costs associated with producing renewable hydrogen at scale.

“If feasible, this could help underpin future commercial scale deployments leveraging existing network infrastructure at other power stations, and play a role in driving down the cost of domestic hydrogen production.”

Stanwell’s feasibility study is expected to be complete later this year.

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