A major project to create hydrogen will  go ahead ion the Victoria -NSW border wit Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG) securing financing for its Hydrogen Park Murray Valley development near Wodonga.

The AGIG  development known as the Hydrogen Park Murray Valley project, will see a 10MW electrolyser deployed at the  site  near Wodonga,  thanks to a grant from  the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) which has announced a $36.1 million commitment to the  project that will produce renewable hydrogen to initially be blended into the local natural gas distribution network.

The Hydrogen Park Murray Valley project will be situated adjacent to North East Water’s Wodonga Wastewater Treatment Plant, and once complete, will be the largest renewable hydrogen facility on the east coast and equal largest in Australia it is claimed.

The renewable hydrogen produced will displace natural gas supplied to local customers and industry at blends of up to ten per cent, reducing carbon emissions with no charge to amenity for gas users.

It is claimed the project will supply hydrogen to an estimated 85,000 people spanning the border of Victoria and New South Wales with more than 40,000 connections to the local gas network.

At a blend of ten per cent, the project is predicted to cut about 4,000 tonnes of CO2 each year.

The  CEO of ARENA CEO, Darren Miller, said the project will pavethe way for renewable hydrogen in Australia.

“It’s essential to scaling up Australia’s renewable hydrogen industry that we get these first-generation projects up and running,” he said.

“Producing renewable hydrogen on this scale has never been done in Australia.”

Miller said the new facility will help inform Australia’s hydrogen industry as it grows from its early stages to a pillar of the net zero economy.

“ARENA has been at the forefront of advancing renewable hydrogen projects and will continue to play an integral role, as we support the Australian Government’s Hydrogen Headstart program and other large scale projects,” he said.

“What’s exciting about this project is that it will be producing hydrogen that reduces local emissions from day one, with the potential to supply additional markets as they move towards net zero.”

It is believed that as well as servicing domestic and industrial gas customers. the plant  would also have capacity to provide hydrogen for future heavy vehicle power, with ARENA saying that Wodonga’s strategic location along a major road freight route also provides access to other end use markets, particularly in heavy vehicle transport.

The Victorian Government is supporting the project with $12.315 million through the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA), with additional financial backing from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).

Mars Petcare Australia will purchase Renewable Gas Guarantee of Origin certificates, generated by the project and accredited by GreenPower, to offset the gas use across the company.

Hydrogen Park Murray Valley is the second 10 MW project supported by ARENA to reach financial close after the first, Engie’s Project Yuri in the Pilbara, achieved the milestone in September 2022. Both were funded as part of a $103 million competitive funding round for commercial scale hydrogen electrolyser projects.

Construction on the project is due to commence in 2023, with the site operational by 2025.