Australian renewables developer Edify Energy has obtained a USD 31.8 million grant in funding, from the federal government to lead the development of the first phase of its up to 1-GW hydrogen hub in the north Queensland city of Townsville as it takes advantage of growing global demand for green hydrogen.
According to a statement issued by Edify, the financing will be extended under the Australian government’s Regional Hydrogen Hubs programme and will support the initial 17.6-MW part of the ambitious scheme.
Edify Energy will spearhead the development of the Townsville Region Hydrogen Hub after being named as the recipient of USD 46.3 million in funding allocated by the Australian government to support projects that accelerate the delivery of a green hydrogen industry in north Queensland.
The renewables developer will install a 17.6 MW demon facility within the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct, about 50 kilometres south of Townsville, close to a proposed solar park and a battery energy storage system.
Impacts of the project
The hydrogen plant will source electricity from the nearby photovoltaic farm to generate about 800 tonnes per year initially, starting in 2025. The output is planned to be used for industrial purposes. The federal government has estimated that the Townsville hydrogen hub will create about 200 direct jobs, as well as 300 ongoing jobs.
Construction of the Townsville green hydrogen hub which will co-locate producers and users of hydrogen, is due to start next year and be complete in 2026, with commercial operations scheduled to commence in 2027.
Project capacity and output
Development approval for the Tonswville project that was awarded in September 2021 is now in the initial stage of supporting the production of 800 tonnes of green hydrogen per year, before ramping up to about 3,000 tonnes per annum for domestic supply with a view to scaling up production to 150,000 tonnes per year for foreign markets.
Talks are at advanced stages to secure off-takers across power generation, heavy industry and transport according to Edify.
The Australian Energy Minister Chris Bowen highlighted that renewable hydrogen shapes as a “game changer” for the country’s economy, opening the door to green metals, green fertiliser, green power and supporting industrial decarbonisation.
Strategic regional position
He also added that the Townville region is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the growing global demand with its infrastructure, workforce capacity, and proximity to Asian trading partners making it an ideal location for a green hydrogen hub. Townsville is ideally placed to help power the world with Australian renewable energy and create jobs in regional Australia, with its ports, expertise in exports and access to Queensland’s abundant solar resources.
Source of hub funding
More than USD 137 million of combined investment has been attracted by the Townsville hydrogen bub, including USD 20.7 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. Funding is also being sourced from industry and the German government.
The Australian government’s contribution is part of more than USD 500 million in Commonwealth funding for hydrogen hubs in regional centres such as Gladstone, Bell Bay, Kwinana, the Pilbara, Port Bonython and the Hunter.
The investment will help unlock the benefits of an industry which could inject an additional USD 50 billion into the Australian economy by 2050, according to Anthony Albanese, the Australian Prime Minister.
Edify has been at the forefront of the Australian renewable and green tech market with a presence across Australia, from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Townsville, Collinsville, Kerang and Darlington Point. Edify has reshaped the domestic renewables sector and disrupted outdated industry models. We’ve built relationships and financed projects in unique and innovative ways.