AUSTRALIAN Gas Networks has been awarded funding of $1.28m from the Commonwealth government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency to support the Australian Hydrogen Centre in exploring the feasibility of blending hydrogen into natural gas networks.

The AHC has also received money from SA’s Department for Energy and Mining and Victoria’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. Other AHC founding members include gas and energy infrastructure business AusNet Services, and leading renewable energy companies, ENGIE and Neoen.

Australian Gas Networks is part of the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group, which is developing the $11.4m Hydrogen Park South Australia (HyP SA) hydrogen production facility at the Tonsley Innovation District, south of Adelaide.

The AHC will develop feasibility studies to inject up to 10% renewable hydrogen into the gas distribution network of selected regional towns in South Australia and Victoria.

Building on the feasibility studies for regional towns, the AHC will also develop feasibility studies to inject up to 10% renewable hydrogen into the gas distribution networks of South Australia and Victoria and develop a pathway to make the transition to 100% hydrogen networks.

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In addition, the AHC will publish knowledge sharing reports to externalise key insights and data from the operations of HyP SA, Australia’s largest renewable hydrogen production facility, expected to be operational by mid-2020. The project will produce renewable hydrogen and blend it into the gas distribution network in Mitchell Park, Adelaide.

The ARENA grant will cover approximately 31% of the total estimated cost of $4.15m to complete the work program of the AHC by January 2022.

AGN’s CEO Ben Wilson said, “AGN, as part of Australia’s broader energy industry, has commenced the new decade with a strategy that aims to deliver substantial, measurable and world-leading outcomes in minimising the current and future carbon footprint across the whole of our national gas distribution business”.

“This public licence also requires total transparency so the studies will provide guidance as to both the best solution to deliver renewable gas into our networks while ensuring full engagement with all stakeholders and consumers about this step-change in Australian energy delivery,” Mr Wilson said.

“The 2020s will be an exciting time for the energy industry and consumers. ARENA’s foresight in backing the strategy for a roll-out of more renewably sourced gas in these two key major markets, is to be commended.”

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