Western Sydney Green Gas Project
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, storage, power generation, and potentially mobility and industrial applications.
|Main end-use classification:
Hydrogen in gas networks, power, mobility and industrial uses
Operating – the project began blending hydrogen into the New South Wales gas network in November 2021
Hydrogen produced – 88 tonnes per annum maximum annual production
New South Wales, Australia
AUD$7.5 million – Jemena
AUD$7.5 million – Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)
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 and/or fuel cell to generate electricity for export back to the grid, or
- supplied to an adjacent hydrogen cylinder refilling station for use in offsite applications of renewable hydrogen (including vehicle refuelling).
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 high voltage transformer
- hydrogen cylinder refilling station.
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 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 or 10kg/h of hydrogen gas.
Maximum annual production is forecast to be 87,600 kilograms (88 tonnes) of hydrogen gas. The electrolyser would require up to 2,400 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 5GWh of (green) electricity would be required to meet the proposed annual hydrogen production level.
A buried on-site steel pipeline (buffer store) would enable storage of up to approximately 4MWh of hydrogen to aid in injection management into the gas network, power generation and refilling activities.
The project includes a gas-fuelled generator (microturbine) fuelled initially from the natural gas mains network, before being converted 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.
A cylinder filling station will be incorporated into the project rather than a Hydrogen Refuelling Station bus refuelling point as initially proposed in the Western Sydney Green Gas Project – Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), dated December 2019. The change will allow the facility to support articulated trucks for cylinder filling.
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 is anticipated.
The project began blending of hydrogen into the gas network in November 2021 and is anticipated to operate for around five years.
The project capital investment was approximately AUD$15 million.
Stakeholder and community consultation has been ongoing since the project was announced in 2018.
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 produced at the Western Sydney plant from 2022.
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.
May 2021: Construction completed, commissioning commences.
August 2021: Jemena announced it had signed an offtake agreement with Coregas allowing renewable-based hydrogen from the Western Sydney plant to be used by transport and industrial customers from 2022.
November 2021: The project begins blending of hydrogen into the New South Wales gas network.
Updated: March 2022