Western Sydney Green Gas Project (Operational in November 2021)

November 22nd, 2021

Western Sydney Green Gas Project

The project involves a trial power-to-gas facility to transform (surplus) renewable electrical energy into hydrogen gas for use in blending in a gas network, power, and potentially mobility and industrial applications.

Main proponents:

Jemena

Main end-use classification:

Hydrogen in gas networks, power, mobility and industrial uses

Status:

Operating – the project began blending hydrogen into the New South Wales gas network in November 2021

Estimated cost:

AUD$15 million

Other involvement:

 

Production details:

Hydrogen produced – 53 tonnes per annum proposed

Location:

New South Wales, Australia

Announced funding:

AUD$7.5 million – Jemena

AUD$7.5 million – Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)

Project description

The purpose of the project is to test and demonstrate power-to-gas technology in the natural gas distribution system and facilitate the development of commercially viable integrated hydrogen energy systems.

Jemena owns and manages significant gas and electricity assets in Australia, including a gas network that supplies 1.4 million customers in New South Wales.

The project involves the construction and operation of a trial power-to-gas facility to transform (surplus) renewable electrical energy into hydrogen gas which is:

  • injected at up to 2 per cent by volume into the Sydney secondary gas distribution network;
  • supplied to a microturbine to generate electricity for export back to the grid, or
  • potentially supplied to an adjacent hydrogen refuelling station for heavy vehicle refuelling (optional future project scope).

The project comprises a power-to-gas production facility and associated equipment, including:

  • a 500kW electrolyser (including final water treatment, electrolyser stack, purification and cooling systems)
  • hydrogen buffer store (buried carbon steel pipeline)
  • hydrogen gas control panel
  • hydrogen gas grid injection panel (to supply to Secondary Mains)
  • site control hut
  • power grid connection, including transformer
  • hydrogen refuelling station (optional future scope)

A 500kW Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyser, using purchased renewable energy for power, will convert mains water and/or Reverse Osmosis (RO) quality recycled water into hydrogen and oxygen, with the latter being vented. The produced hydrogen will be injected and blended with natural gas into the existing Jemena natural gas distribution network, at up to 2 per cent by volume via a dedicated injection control panel (which would support the management of hydrogen gas pressures, temperatures and flow rates for injection).

The electrolyser, developed by Canadian-based company Hydrogenics (now Cummins-Hydrogenics), has a production capacity of 100Nm3/h of hydrogen gas.

Proposed annual production is approximately 53,000 kilograms (53 tonnes) of hydrogen gas. The electrolyser would require up to 2,135 litres of water per day (gross feed); by comparison, on average, each person in Sydney uses around 200 litres of water per day. An estimated 6 GWh of (green) electricity would be required to meet the proposed annual hydrogen production level.

A buried on-site steel pipeline (buffer store) would enable accumulation of sufficient hydrogen inventory to aid in injection management into the gas network and overall facility management.

The project includes a gas-fuelled generator (microturbine) fuelled initially from the natural gas mains network, before being converted within a year of operation to use hydrogen as its fuel source (supplied from the buffer store). It also features a fuel cell that operates solely on hydrogen and at twice the efficiency of a microturbine.

The project includes the option for possible future inclusion of a hydrogen gas refuelling station adjacent to the power-to-gas facility.  The station would provide hydrogen to heavy-duty vehicles, specifically buses, and would have sufficient capacity to refill three heavy vehicles (35MPa) with approximately 30kg of hydrogen each per day. Should the refuelling station option be progressed, the project development proposal includes provisions for future expansion to double hydrogen production capacity.

The project is located at the Jemena-owned Horsley Park high-pressure gas facility in Western Sydney. The Horsley Park complex is connected to two major pipelines which supply natural gas to Sydney and New South Wales – the Central Trunk Pipeline and the Eastern Gas Pipeline. At the proposed blending concentration, no modifications to the existing pipeline infrastructure are anticipated.

The project began blending of hydrogen into the gas network in November 2021 and is anticipated to operate for around five years.

The projected capital investment, including the optional hydrogen refuelling station, is approximately AUD$15 million.

Stakeholder and community consultation has been undertaken since the project was announced in 2018.

In August 2020, Jemena announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Hyundai Australia and Coregas for the production and delivery of hydrogen from the project to Hyundai’s refuelling station at its Macquarie Park headquarters (with Coregas to supply the compressor, pipework and connectors for filling and discharging hydrogen).

In August 2021, Jemena and Coregas announced an offtake agreement that would enable the project to supply transport and industrial customers with renewable-based hydrogen from early 2022.

Milestones

October 2018: ARENA announces funding of AUD$7.5 million for Jemena to build a demonstration-scale 500 kW electrolyser at its facility in western Sydney.

July 2019: Jemena confirms purchase of the project’s 500kW electrolyser.

August 2020: Development approval received under the Planning System Acceleration Program.

August 2020: Jemena announces the signing of a MOU with Hyundai Australia and Coregas for the production and delivery of hydrogen to Hyundai’s refuelling station at its Macquarie Park headquarters.

May 2021: Construction completed, commissioning commences.

August 2021: Jemena announced it had signed an offtake agreement with Coregas, allowing renewable-based hydrogen from the project to be used by transport and industrial customers from early 2022.

November 2021: The project begins blending of hydrogen into the New South Wales gas market.

 

Updated: November 2021