In Australia, a group of leading global energy players brought together by advisory firm and business accelerator Energy Estate has formed Hunter Hydrogen Network (H2N) to enable the country's first ‘hydrogen valley’ in New South Wales (NSW) Hunter region, potentially unlocking the world-class energy resources of the Central West, New England, and Hunter-Central Coast renewable energy zones.
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The organizations include leading integrated energy utility AGL, leading energy infrastructure business APA Group, global equipment suppliers including ITM Power, global energy suppliers and traders Idemitsu and Trafigura Group, and large renewable energy developers RES Australia and Walcha Energy.
Energy Estate is working closely with Beyond Zero Emissions on renewable energy industrial precincts in the Hunter and engaging with other regional stakeholders to ensure the project is developed utilizing local skills and resources, with the aim of bringing new domestic manufacturing opportunities to the Hunter.
H2N’s ambition is to enable Australia’s first hydrogen valley in the NSW Hunter, transforming the region into a global superpower of renewable energy supply. A hydrogen economy and thriving supply chain in the Hunter has the potential to support local industry and workers into the jobs of the future and positions the Hunter in the race to be one of Australia’s leading renewable energy exporters, said Vincent Dwyer, Principal at Energy Estate.
Leverage existing assets and projects
The H2N project is being developed under Energy Estate’s HydrogenGrowth platform, which focuses on developing green hydrogen opportunities throughout Australia and internationally.
It builds on Energy Estate’s existing projects in the region, including the Walcha Energy Project, which proposes to connect directly to the Hunter through WalchaLink.
H2N will also facilitate Idemitsu’s Muswellbrook energy, training, and industry precinct, which will repurpose an existing coal mine and establish a clean industrial hub incorporating pumped hydro, solar, battery storage, green hydrogen production, training facilities, and a new manufacturing precinct.
The organizations are engaging with Energy Estate to conduct further due diligence and assess the scope and concept of the project.
The first stage of the project aims to produce green hydrogen and associated green feedstock for mining, vehicles, and other industrial uses in the Upper Hunter.
The second phase of the project will assess the transportation of hydrogen through a dedicated hydrogen pipeline to Newcastle, supplying future local users and exporters, including producers of green ammonia for export, green feedstock into the chemical sector, green fuels, and hydrogen turbines to provide green dispatchable energy solutions.
Energy Estate Principal Simon Currie said creating a local supply chain will help ensure that Australia is a competitive producer of green hydrogen for domestic and export markets.
The project will be critical in enabling new long-term, sustainable jobs and will underpin the clean industrial precincts across the region, Simon Currie said.