Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) and AGL Energy (AGL) will undertake a feasibility study to repurpose infrastructure at the Hunter Valley’s Liddell and Bayswater coal-fired power stations to generate green hydrogen from water, using renewable energy.
The companies said the announcement reinforced Australia’s potential to become a global green hydrogen superpower, in the process creating jobs and strengthening economies in regional Australia.
FFI chair Dr Andrew Forrest said, “FFI’s goal is to turn regional Australia into the global green energy heartland and create thousands of jobs now and so many more in the future.
“Repurposing existing fossil fuel infrastructure with forward looking companies like AGL to create green hydrogen to help power the world, is the solution we have been looking for.”
The Liddell and Bayswater power stations (pictured) account for over 40 per cent of New South Wales’ carbon dioxide emissions, according to 2019 National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting data.
Successful repurposing of these sites would help the state meet its target of halving its emissions by 2030, and prove the role of green hydrogen in decarbonising industry.
To be known as the Hunter Valley Industrial Clean Energy Hub, repurposing would create a new regional domestic and export industry in green hydrogen.
Dr Forrest said: “Green hydrogen is the only true zero-carbon, zero-methane fuel – every other type of hydrogen requires the burning of fossil fuels.
“It is a practical, implementable solution that can collapse emissions and create strong economies worldwide.
“…This is another important step in turning the corner once and for all, to implement the technologies carbon emitters, like us, to reach net zero.”
Pending the feasibility study’s outcomes, initial renewable electricity production through new wind and solar could be 250MW, generating 30,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per year.
Ultimately, due to the scalability of electrolysers, estimates suggest production will be in the gigawatts.
Power for the electrolyser will come from new wind, solar, and supported by new pumped hydro and batteries, generated by FFI, AGL and other parties.
The feasibility study forms part of a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding between FFI and AGL.
AGL operates the 2,640 MW Bayswater power station and 2,000 MW (available 1,680 MW) Liddell power station.
Picture: AGL/Bayswater and Liddell power stations
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