A pilot project to produce renewable hydrogen at Bell Bay for use in domestic transportation is among the seven projects shortlisted for funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.
The proposal, to be operated by Woodside Energy in conjunction with Countrywide Renewable Energy, will be assessed against six other proposals – four in Western Australia, one in Victoria and one in Queensland – for the $70 million ARENA renewable hydrogen development fund.
The seven projects have applied for $200 million in grant funding with total projects costs of $500 million, meaning two or more could be successful. They have advanced to the next stage ahead of 29 other projects across the country.
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The Bell Bay proposal, called H2TAS, is a 10 megawatt pilot project producing 4.5 tpd of hydrogen through electrolysis for domestic use targeting the transportation sector.
This would fuel a growing domestic demand for hydrogen-fuelled trucks, buses and light vehicles forecast in the coming years.
If established, the outcome of the pilot project would determine whether H2TAS at Bell Bay could increase to a green hydrogen exporting hub.
Further detail of the seven shortlisted projects was released on Thursday.
Renewable hydrogen production has been earmarked as a potential major employer at Bell Bay, with an ambition of production for the local market by 2022-24, and exporting by 2025-27.
Northern Tasmania Development Corporation chief executive officer Mark Baker said it was promising to see the Bell Bay project advance to the next stage.
“The production of hydrogen from Tasmania’s clean and green energy supply will put the state at the forefront of an industry forecast to grow exponentially over the coming decades,” he said.
“Bell Bay is well placed to become the hub of green hydrogen energy production with its access to deep-water ports, transmission infrastructure and road networks.”
Applicants have until January 2021 to prepare their final application, with a decision likely in mid-2021 and construction in 2022.