Denham Hydrogen Demonstration Plant

February 26th, 2022

Denham Hydrogen Demonstration Plant

An end-to-end demonstration incorporating green hydrogen from solar in a remote microgrid in the coastal town of Denham, Western Australia. The demonstration will test the technical capability of hydrogen as a power source in remote microgrids.

Main proponents:

Horizon Power

Main end-use classification:

Microgrid – power use

Status:

Under construction – plant is anticipated to be fully operational by July 2022

Estimated cost:

AUD$8.9 million

Other involvement:

 

Production details:

Hydrogen production – 13,000 kilograms (13 tonnes) per annum projected

Location:

Western Australia, Australia

Announced funding:

AUD$5.7 million – Western Australian Government, of which AUD$1.0 million is allocated from the Renewable Hydrogen Fund (capital works project).

AUD$2.6 million – Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)

Project description

Horizon Power, the Western Australian Government’s regional and remote power provider, is constructing a hydrogen demonstration plant in the small coastal town of Denham (approximately 100 kilometres south of Carnarvon, Western Australia) with the aim to accommodate and leverage a greater volume of renewable energy for the microgrid power station.

Horizon Power presently supplies power to Denham’s 750 permanent residents through a combined wind generation and diesel system, with wind generation supplying around 30 percent of demand. However, both components of the system are nearing the end of their operational life.

Horizon Power has explored alternative power supply options for a future secure supply for Denham, including the upgrade of the existing power station with a new solar farm and battery energy storage system.

The demonstration plant will work in parallel with the upgraded power station for Denham.  The plant will use solar energy as its power source but wind energy is also being explored.  The demonstration plant includes the following equipment:

  • Installation of a dedicated solar farm (0.704 MW DC);
  • Electrolyser (60 Nm3/hr) – 348kW;
  • Hydrogen Storage Tanks (300 Bar, 3477 Nm3);
  • Hydrogen Fuel Cell (100 kW);
  • Hydrogen Compressor – 2 stage;
  • Control systems and balance of plant;
  • Horizon Power site works and water storage facilities;
  • Meter on the Hydrogen Fuel Cell output to track the year one hydrogen energy production requirement with a minimum output of 220 MWh per year; and
  • 100% renewable-powered hydrogen production facility.

The project involves the engagement of an engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contractor (Hybrid Systems Australia) to supply, install and commission a hydrogen demonstration plant that will output 526MWh/year (from solar and renewable hydrogen).

Excess energy from the solar farm, and potentially wind farm, will power the electrolyser to produce hydrogen which will be stored in a storage tank to be eventually converted to electricity when required (i.e. mainly at night)  by using a fuel cell (allowing the energy needs of the town to be more fully met from renewable sources).

The energy produced from the solar farm and hydrogen demonstration plant will provide enough renewable energy to power the average energy of approximately 100 residential customers in Denham.

The schematic Figure 1 below illustrates the project supply chain.

Schematic of project supply chain

The Hydrogen Demonstration Plant – Process Map
©Image Copyright: Horizon Power

Further information on the project, including Fact Sheets, can be found on a dedicated Horizon Power project webpage.

Milestones

August 2020: The Western Australian Government announces AUD$5.7 million in funding allocated to the Denham Hydrogen Demonstration Plant, of which AUD$1.0 million is allocated from the Renewable Hydrogen Fund (capital works project).

November 2020: ARENA announces AUD$2.6 million in funding to Horizon Power to support construction of the Denham Hydrogen Demonstration Plant project.

December 2020: Horizon Power awards Hybrid Systems Australia, the specialist integrated renewables subsidiary of Pacific Energy, a contract to build the Denham Hydrogen Demonstration Plant project.

May 2021: The first sod is turned at the solar farm site, marking the commencement of the project works.

August 2021: Solar farm construction is completed.

 

Updated: February 2022