Australia’s Energy Minister Chris Bowen has announced the approval of a plan to construct a AUD51m (USD34m) renewable hydrogen plant in Victoria state, the country’s renewable energy hub, as reported by Reuters on June 24. The site will deploy a 10-megawatt (MW) electrolyzer, making it the largest of its kind in Australia. The plant will use wind power to produce low-emission hydrogen, which will be blended into gas networks to supply approximately 40,000 homes. Infrastructure company Australian Gas Infrastructure Group [APA:AU] will start construction of the project this year and deliver it in 2025. The funding for the project will come from the Victoria government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
The renewable hydrogen plant is expected to benefit from the AUD2bn “Hydrogen Headstart” program, launched by the country’s Labor government the previous month. The program aims to provide revenue support for large-scale renewable hydrogen projects through competitive hydrogen production contracts. By funding two to three flagship projects, the program aims to increase Australia’s total electrolyzer capacity to 1.000MW by 2030. Moreover, leveraging the “Hydrogen Headstart” plan, Australia seeks to boost export of the fuel and play a greater role in global hydrogen supply chains. In March 2023, Australia and Japan announced the launch of their first bilateral hydrogen supply chain, involving the shipment of clean hydrogen from Victoria state to Japan’s Kawasaki.