The giant Australian industrial company Wesfarmers and energy infrastructure operator Jemena have formed an alliance that they say will potentially see Australian buses, trucks and cars powered by green hydrogen in the near future.
Readily available hydrogen could soon be a reality in New South Wales thanks to the new agreement between Jemena and Wesfarmer’s gas supply subsidiary Coregas.
Under the new agreement Jemena will produce and supply green hydrogen from its Western Sydney plant for use by transport and industrial customers from early 2022 and will be the first time the New South Wales that the transport industry will have access to green hydrogen.
While there have been plenty of potential hydrogen vehicle programs mooted, including from US based but Australian managed Hyzon, the distinct lack of hydrogen supply infrastructure stands as one of, if not the largest challenge for the sector.
Jemena’s general manager for Renewable Gas, Gabrielle Sycamore, said the agreement further demonstrates the potential of green hydrogen to store renewable energy and integrate future gas, electricity and transport refuelling networks.
“We know that green hydrogen has the immediate potential to become a viable zero emission alternative to many petroleum-based fossil fuels currently used by industries such as transport and remote power generation,” Ms Sycamore said.
“Hydrogen fuel cells are particularly well suited to long distance heavy haulage trucking requirements based on their comparatively light weight and fast refuelling times which can be just a matter of minutes.”
Hydrogen is used to power fuel cell buses and cars in countries around the world. In Japan 500 fuel cell vehicles are being used to transport competitors and staff at the Tokyo Olympics (hydrogen is also being used to power the Olympic flame), while in London hydrogen fuel cell busses are being used for public transport across the city.
The green hydrogen will be produced at Jemena’s $15 million Western Sydney Green Gas Project. Co-funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), the Power-to-Gas project is converting renewable electricity to hydrogen gas which can be blended and stored in Jemena’s gas distribution network to supply New South Wales homes and businesses.
“Together with the Western Sydney Green Gas Project, Jemena is bringing renewable gas to homes and businesses across New South Wales, it’s also offering the transport industry the opportunity to create their own path to a low carbon future,” Ms Sycamore said.
“Our partnership with Coregas is an exciting extension to the Western Sydney Green Gas Project and will allow the New South Wales transport industry to innovate by offering cleaner energy solutions to their customers.”
Coregas Executive General Manager Alan Watkins commented that Coregas is working hard to apply their expertise in hydrogen distribution, compression and storage as part of Australia’s transition to a hydrogen economy.
“Transforming the transport sector is a critical piece of the puzzle, and we are delighted to partner with Jemena to make renewably generated green hydrogen available to the transport industry in New South Wales,” Mr Watkins said.