A 15-year water supply agreement with Water Corporation has been signed by Western Australia-based Frontier Energy, paving the way for the beginning of production at the new renewable hydrogen project near Waroona.
The Bristol Springs Green Hydrogen Project – located about 120 kilometres from Perth – is expected to become one of the first low-cost renewable hydrogen projects in Australia.
“We are delighted to have executed this essential agreement with Water Corporation and thank them and the Western Australian Government for their continued support for our project.
“Being located 3km from one of the major water pipelines in WA, yet again highlights the advantage this project has in being able to access existing infrastructure. Without this, a desalination facility would be required, which would add millions to the project’s development cost, as well as add significantly to first production timeline, due to the requirement for additional approvals and environmental studies,” Frontier Energy Managing Director Sam Lee Mohan said.
The Western Australian Government has also shown its support to the development that is projected to create up to 300 new jobs during its construction and up to 50 ongoing positions once the new renewable hydrogen facility is up and running.
Production from the Bristol Springs Project is expected to begin in 2025. The first stage of production is forecasted at about 4.4 million kilograms of renewable hydrogen annually, with the potential to expand if the demand continues to increase.
Stage One of the Bristol Springs Green Hydrogen Project will include the construction of a 114MW industrial-scale solar farm that will power the electrolysers that will produce green hydrogen. Any excess renewable energy from the solar farm will be sold into the grid via the South West Interconnected System.
“The Bristol Springs Project is a fantastic example of a WA firm leading the way to becoming one of the lowest cost producers of Australian-made renewable hydrogen.
“The McGowan Government is committed to assisting such emerging hydrogen production projects, as we work to establish WA as a significant producer, exporter and user of renewable hydrogen.
“Renewable hydrogen will be critical for hard-to-abate sectors, such as industrial processing and transport, to reduce their emissions and help the State achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” Hydrogen Industry Minister Roger Cook said.
Project map (source: Frontier Energy Ltd)
Water Corporation’s 15-year agreement with Frontier Energy is its first contracted commercial supply to a renewable hydrogen facility.
Water that will be supplied to the facility will come from the Stirling Trunk Main, which carries water from the Southern Dam and the Southern Seawater Desalination Plant to the Integrated Water Supply Scheme (IWSS).
Water is a crucial element in the production of green or renewable hydrogen, where water is split into hydrogen and oxygen via electrolysis utilising renewable electricity. In turn, renewable hydrogen is used in transport, industrial feedstock, electricity generation, and blending into the natural gas supply.
“Comprising two parts hydrogen, water is essential for renewable hydrogen production and Water Corporation’s long-term supply agreement with Frontier Energy is a win-win, and an important milestone in developing the renewable hydrogen industry in WA.
“In one of the most climate-impacted regions on earth, renewable hydrogen will help decarbonise WA and support a strong, resilient, and diversified economy.
“I commend Water Corporation for supporting what is expected to be one of the first, low-cost commercial renewable hydrogen projects in Australia,” Water Minister Simone McGurk said.
Following the release of the Renewable Hydrogen Strategy in 2019, the Western Australian Government has committed about $162.5 million to support the development of the renewable hydrogen industry in the State.
Source: Government of Western Australia – Media Statements; Frontier Energy Ltd (1, 2)