The state of South Australia is planning to build the world’s largest hydrogen power station fuelled by an electrolyser ten times bigger than anything running today.
The 200MW scheme, and the 250MW electrolyser, will be developed by the Office of Hydrogen Power in South Australia.
The plant will be built near the city of Whyalla, about 100km northwest of Adelaide. The government of South Australia is footing the entire US$414m bill.
The electrolysers will create hydrogen from water using excess solar and wind energy generated in the middle of the day.
This hydrogen will fuel the power station, that will in turn provide electricity to South Australian based factories, manufacturing businesses and mining companies.
The excess hydrogen produced will be stored to fuel the power station and potentially for other industrial uses, the government said.
The scheme will also help to balance supply and demand in the South Australian grid. At present the state produces more solar energy than it can consume – the government has previously asked consumers to turn on as many appliances as possible to prevent an overload.
South Australia sources 70% of all its electricity from renewable sources such as wind and solar, and this is expected to rise to 100% by 2030.
Sam Crafter, the chief executive of the Office of Hydrogen Power, told Renew Economy that broader goal was to create a green hydrogen hub at Whyalla’s Port Bonython. He said: “It will be the launching pad to get to those larger scale projects that the industry is rushing towards.”
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