Clean Energy Innovation Hub

February 27th, 2024

Clean Energy Innovation Hub

The Perth-located Clean Energy Innovation Hub incorporates the production, storage and use of hydrogen in micro-grid system applications, including blending with natural gas and in power use.

Main proponents:


Main end-use classification:

Microgrid applications – natural gas blending, power use


Operating – official opening in mid-2019

Estimated cost:

AUD$3.53 million

Other involvement:


Production details:

Hydrogen production – 23 tonnes per annum maximum capacity


Western Australia, Australia

Announced funding:

AUD$1.79 million – Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)

Project description

The original purpose of the project is to build and operate a ‘microgrid’ hybrid energy system enabled by renewable gas technology (including hydrogen) and the integration of renewable gas with solar and batteries.

The Clean Energy Innovation Hub, which has been in operation since mid-2019 at ATCO’s Jandakot Operations Centre in Perth, Western Australia, operates along the following lines:

  1. Electricity generated through 1,003 solar panels provides the energy required to run the Jandakot Operations Centre.
  2. Excess energy generated from the 300kW of rooftop solar PV is used to charge the 500kWh (478kWh useable) of onsite battery storage for non-sunshine hours-usage.
  3. Once the batteries are fully charged, the excess energy is used to power a 260kW Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyser system.
  4. The hydrogen gas produced is stored in a 30-bar high-pressure vessel.
  5. Thereafter, the hydrogen gas was originally distributed within the ‘microgrid’ in three ways:
    1. Blended with natural gas within the ATCO Jandakot depot for testing and validation of materials, equipment and appliances. Initially blends commenced at 0.5% and incrementally increased up to 20% onsite.
    2. As direct fuel for a 1.2kW hydrogen fuel cell that provides back-up power to the display home.
    3. The blended natural gas and hydrogen enabled operational and performance tests for domestic and industrial appliances, including the Hub’s existing 200kW gas generator and the facilities gas-powered air-conditioning units.
  6. Since these initial investigations, the Clean Energy Innovation Hub has evolved to utilise the generated hydrogen to be used:
    1. As a direct fuel for 100% Hydrogen appliances in a residential hybrid display home.
    2. As fuel for a 5kW Panasonic fuel cell that support power supply to warehouse workshops at Jandakot (when its primary sources of power – solar and batteries – are depleted)
    3. As a blended fuel with natural gas for use by approximately 3000 domestic residential users in the suburbs around ATCOs facilities in Jandakot. ATCO is currently blending hydrogen at 2 per cent with approval to increase to a maximum 10 per cent me.
    4. As a fuel source for a passenger vehicle hydrogen dispenser to enabling hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to be refuelled.

The electrolyser model used is a Proton C30 manufactured by Nel Hydrogen Electrolyser in Norway. It has the capacity to generate up to 65 kg/day of hydrogen, consuming 64.5 kWh/kg electrical power. Utility water is delivered to the electrolyser as feedstock from ATCO’s mains water system, with a maximum required water supply rate of 26.9 litres/h.

The electrolyser was designed to only operate to produce hydrogen when there is sufficient electrical power available from the solar system after battery storage has filled. Electrolyser power availability is therefore determined by a limited solar window and is designed to operate once daily for two to four hours. In order to supply hydrogen gas outside the solar window, installation of a hydrogen storage vessel was necessary.  Hydrogen is supplied from the storage vessel when there is sufficient inventory.

The project has documented experiences gained during development, construction and regulatory approvals. The lessons learnt are examined in the following reports:

As noted above, ATCO Australia and Fortescue collaborated in the development and operation of a hydrogen refuelling facility at ATCO’s existing Jandakot Operations Centre in the Perth metropolitan area. ATCO will use its existing 260kW electrolyser system to produce the hydrogen to supply the refuelling station. ATCO will continue its Hub specific gas blending test work while supplying the station.


July 2018: ARENA announces AUD$1.79 million in funding to support the establishment of the innovation hub at Jandakot.

July 2019: ATCO officially opens its Clean Energy Innovation Hub at Jandakot.


Updated: February 2024