Hydrogen for Regional Australia
This week we began the start of what we hope to be a very exciting project in Central West New South Wales. 'We' is a consortium that has be formed to include Harelec Solar (the project owner to generate green hydrogen), Hydrogen Fuels Australia (a core project partner to dispense it), and Clean Cowra (who are developing the use case of core technology that could be used in the future to expand the generation and user group across the region).
We began the project with an information meeting hosted by Clean Cowra and Harelec in Cowra, with a range of local government, regional development experts, and industry. That said, the thought was developed 3-4 years ago long before my time, to bring hydrogen to the area and support fossil fuel transition to build greater fuel security for the region. Tuesday was really the culmination of a great deal of previous work by David and Jamie, to lay out the core message and plans over the coming 6-9 months for the broader community.
So what does the next 6-9 months look like? Bringing together potential users of hydrogen with Original Equipment Manufacturers, to discuss whether hydrogen could be a good fit for their organisation. We anticipate (like most user cases today) that mobility will be the greatest early opportunity. Once there is confidence and intention to take this step, Harelec (www.harelec.com.au) and Hydrogen Fuels Australia (www.h2fa.com.au) will begin the actual project by building the infrastructure to support the generation and dispensing for these first mover organisations.
This is just the beginning though. The project has 3 elements, with hydrogen mobility being the first step. Deakin Universities Hycel group will guide us in bringing social awareness and eventually tertiary qualifications to the region, while a 3rd project step will look at other uses of hydrogen and 'waste' streams from the technology, to generate further benefit from the project.
Overall, it was fun to get up there, and meet some of the community and talk about what they need and how we can support them. It's a fantastic part of Australia and I'm very excited that we can get this going and bring the benefits of this industry to an important part of our country.