Hydrogen Microgrid and Mobility Project (New Project added August 2023)
Hydrogen Microgrid and Mobility Project
This project would supply renewables-based hydrogen to support a hydrogen powered bus trial in Hobart as well as supporting various research and development uses.
Blue Economy CRC, Metro Tasmania
|Main end-use classification:
Mobility, Research and development
Under development – operations anticipated in 2024
Phase 1: Onshore – 262 kilograms of gaseous hydrogen per day capacity (700 kW PEM electrolyser)
AUD$11.3 million – Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Industry Development Fund (allocated to bus mobility trial support)
In May 2022, the Tasmanian Government announced that Metro Tasmania was to conduct separate operational trials involving three battery electric buses in Launceston and three hydrogen fuel cell electric buses in Hobart, for up to three years, and that a Request for Expressions of Interest for the supply of the buses and associated recharging and refuelling equipment, and specialist maintenance services had been released. The trials are intended to provide operational experience and data to inform the longer-term transition of Metro’s fleet to zero emission buses.
In July 2023, the Tasmanian Government announced, with respect to the hydrogen fuel cell bus trial, that Futon Mobility would supply and maintain the hydrogen fuel cell buses while H2H Energy would supply and maintain the hydrogen refuelling station, to be located at the Metro Tasmania Mornington depot.
The renewables-based hydrogen fuel for the bus trial would be supplied by a 700kW electrolyser owned by the Blue Economy CRC, which would be located at the BOC site (and operated by BOC) in the industrial precinct of Lutana, near Hobart. The hydrogen would be transported approximately 10 kilometres by (BOC-owned) tube trailer from the Lutana production site to the refuelling station at Mornington.
The hydrogen bus trial is expected to be operational in 2024.
- Phase 1: Onshore – installation of a 700-kW PEM electrolyser to supply hydrogen for Metro Tasmania’s hydrogen fuel cell bus trial and to support research into the operation of DC (Direct Current) microgrids. For the latter purpose, the microgrid also incorporates a programmable electricity source that can emulate, for example, a wind turbine or wave energy converter, and a programmable load that can emulate the electrical load profile of applications such as an aquaculture site, vessel operations, island communities or remote areas like Antarctica.
- Phase 2: Offshore – foresees a hydrogen microgrid built at an offshore location (to be determined) incorporating an aquaculture design with oxygen (a co-product of electrolysis of water) supplied for use in aquaculture and hydrogen supplied for powering vessels.
In June 2023, the CRC announced that the Glenorchy City Council had advertised a Planning Permit Application for a hydrogen microgrid project at the BOC gases site in Lutana.
With announcements around the acquisition of key infrastructure and of the hydrogen bus trial (expected to be operational in 2024), from a ‘whole of project’ perspective, the project can be considered to be at the Front-end Engineering Design (FEED) studies stage or equivalent.