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Lochard awarded $2 million to examine underground hydrogen storage

Manufacturing News

Energy infrastructure company Lochard Energy has been awarded a $2 million grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to support a $6.3 million feasibility study involving hydrogen-based long duration energy storage in Victoria’s Otway Basin.

In a statement on Friday, ARENA said the study represents the second stage of Lochard’s H2RESTORE project, which aims to help firm the National Electricity Market (NEM) with hydrogen energy.

Lochard Energy was established in 2015 and its core business is operating the Iona natural gas processing and storage facility at Port Campbell, which is the biggest provider of storage services on the east coast, according to its website.

Its H2RESTORE project is designed to take excess energy from the NEM, use this to create hydrogen, and store it underground to be converted back into electricity to manage peak demand periods. The project will examine repurposing existing underground gas storage reservoirs in the long term for this purpose.

.”This funding will enable us to do the necessary studies to progress a pilot facility demonstrating Lochard Energy’s capability to store hydrogen underground and provide support for the development of a large-scale commercial facility,” Lochard’s CEO, Tim Jessen said.

The feasibility study began early this year. Its objectives are to confirm “technical feasibility of storing hydrogen deep underground in porous rock (sandstone)”, develop a concept design for an initial pilot facility, as well as “progress planning, design and techno-economics for a potential commercial underground hydrogen storage facility.”

Lochard’s said the feasibility study and anticipated pilot facility are first-of-a-kind for underground hydrogen storage in Australia. It hopes the feasibility study will lead to commercialisation of underground storage of renewable hydrogen.

“Renewable hydrogen has an important role to play in helping Australia reach net zero, but cost-effective storage is a looming challenge for the industry,” said ARENA CEO Darren Miller  

“Solving the storage issue will be critical to enabling renewable hydrogen to be used as a form of long duration energy storage in Australia.”

Picture: credit CO2CRC


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