Neoen Australia Hydrogen Superhub (Crystal Brook Energy Park)

September 23rd, 2020

Neoen Australia Hydrogen Superhub (Crystal Brook Energy Park)

The feasibility of co-locating a hydrogen production facility at the planned large-scale hybrid renewable Crystal Brook Energy Park site is being examined.

Main proponents:

Neoen Australia Pty Ltd

Main end-use classification:

Export potential

Status:

Under development

Estimated cost:

 

Other involvement:

 

Production details:

Hydrogen production – Up to 25,000 kilograms per day capability under evaluation

Location:

South Australia, Australia

Announced funding:

AUD$1.0 million (Hydrogen Production Facility feasibility study) – South Australian Government Renewable Technology Fund

AUD$4.0 million (Grant on financial close and construction of the Crystal Brook Energy Park development) – South Australian Government Renewable Technology Fund

AUD$20 million (Loan on financial close and construction of the Crystal Brook Energy Park development) – South Australian Government Renewable Technology Fund

Project description

Neoen Australia is evaluating the inclusion/integration options of a large-scale hydrogen production facility either co-located at its planned hybrid renewable Crystal Brook Energy Park development site or, through a direct transmission line connection, at the nearby port town of Port Pirie, in South Australia

Neoen Australia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Neoen, a large global independent producer of renewable energy.

The South Australian Government provided Development Approval to the Crystal Brook Energy Park proposal in August 2019. The development application submitted in 2018 for assessment included a proposal for a wind farm, solar farm, battery storage, and associated facilities.

The hydrogen production facility did not form part of the development application but would be added at a later date should the production facility proceed beyond the feasibility stage.

The proposed development site is located on various land parcels approximately three kilometres (km) north of the town of Crystal Brook (and approximately 23 km south-east of Port Pirie) in the mid-north region of South Australia.

Development approval for the hybrid Crystal Brook Energy Park site included the following key elements:

  • up to 125 megawatt (MW) of wind farm generation comprising 26 turbines, each with a maximum height of 240 metres.
  • up to 150MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) generation comprising 400,000-500,000 solar panels mounted on single-axis trackers (the project website indicates solar PV generation capacity of up to 110MW).
  • up to 130MW (or 400MWh) of lithium-ion battery storage capacity. The energy storage facility (and purpose-built substation) would be located on a separate land plot to the generation facilities, with the wind and solar farm sites connected to the battery storage site via an underground transmission line comprising 33kV cables.
  • The output of the on-site substation would be directly connected to the existing 275kV transmission line adjacent to the site for use in the national electricity grid.

The estimated capital cost of the hybrid renewable energy development is reported at around AUD$500 million.

In March 2018, Neoen Australia began to conduct a feasibility study, supported by a AUD$1.0 million grant from the South Australian Government, to investigate the technical and economic feasibility of co-locating a hydrogen production facility capable of producing up to 25,000 kilograms (kg) of hydrogen per day at the Crystal Brook Energy Park site.

The first half of the feasibility study was completed in late 2018 and Neoen Australia is discussing optimisation options for the hydrogen production facility, including through hydrogen production at the Crystal Brook Energy Park site or, through a direct transmission line connection, at the nearby port town of Port Pirie for export potential.

Neoen is continuing to seek off-takers for the hydrogen that would be produced at the site, which will be key in proceeding beyond the feasibility assessment stage.

At the beginning of August 2021, ENEOS announced that it had concluded a memorandum to undertake a joint study with Neoen Australia for the development of a Japan-Australia CO2-free hydrogen supply chain in South Australia. Details of the joint study scope are included in the ENEOS release, with Neoen focussed on renewable-based hydrogen production and ENEOS focussed on its conversion to methylcyclohexane (MCH) and maritime transport of MCH as a form of hydrogen storage from Australia to Japan.

The project proponent is considering use of its Goyder Renewables Zone project, a large hybrid renewable energy project located near Burra in the mid-north region of South Australia, as a potential renewable energy source.

 

Updated: February 2022