Sian Crampsie

A 15 MW hydrogen electrolyser power plant is to be built in South Australia after the state’s government awarded funding for the project from its Renewable Technology Fund.

Hydrogen infrastructure company Hydrogen Utility (H2U), working with Germany-based electrolysis and ammonia specialist Thyssenkrupp, will deliver the A$117.5 million project near Port Lincoln.

The project will be a “globally significant demonstrator” for the emerging hydrogen energy sector, the South Australian government said. It will be backed with a A$4.7 million grant and A$7.5 million loan from the Renewable Technology Fund.

The proposed facility will integrate a portfolio of innovative hydrogen technologies, including a 15 MW electrolyser plant, a distributed ammonia production facility, and a 10 MW hydrogen-fired gas turbine and 5 MW hydrogen fuel cell, which will both supply power to the grid.

The electrolyser plant will be one of the largest green hydrogen production facilities worldwide, and among the first ever commercial facilities to produce distributed ammonia from intermittent renewable resources that can be used as an industrial fertiliser.

“More renewable energy means cheaper power and the ability to store renewables means the benefits of that cheap power can be experienced around the clock,” said South Australian Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis. “Hydrogen also offers an opportunity to create a new industry in South Australia where we can export our sun and wind resources to the world.

“South Australia is at the global forefront of a broad range of storage technology, from big batteries, to virtual power plants to pumped hydro – now we will also be home to one of the largest hydrogen production facilities in the world as well.”