Decarbonisation of the Western Australian gas network is another step closer with today’s announcement that ATCO has been awarded almost $2M in funding from WA’s Renewable Hydrogen Fund to support a project to blend hydrogen into the network, lowering emissions for the West Australian community.
This project will be the largest of its kind in Australia, at around 2,500 connections, and will see renewable hydrogen blended into discrete sections of the WA gas distribution network. This will achieve the WA Government’s goal of distributing renewable hydrogen in the network by 2022, and take steps towards the longer term goal of blending up to 10 per cent network-wide by 2030.
ATCO’s Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer in Australia, Patrick Creaghan said that after considerable investment in research and trials - including the production of Australia’s first renewable hydrogen in 2019 - ATCO will begin safely blending up to 10% hydrogen into sections of the WA gas network in late 2022. ATCO’s goal is to cover the full network by the end of this decade.
“Globally, reducing emissions is a priority for ATCO. The opportunity we are progressing to decarbonise the gas network in Western Australia is one that we are fully committed to. We couldn’t do this without the drive and support of Minister MacTiernan and the WA Government’s commitment to develop WA’s renewable hydrogen supply chain.
“We look forward to working closely with the Government and the WA community as we introduce renewable hydrogen into the gas network,” he said.
“Initially, the blending will use renewable hydrogen produced at ATCO’s existing Clean Energy Innovation Hub. As blending extends further into the network, and in higher concentrations, in the coming years it’s anticipated this investment will further spur the growth of the renewable hydrogen industry. This includes ATCO’s proposed Clean Energy Innovation Park, recently supported by ARENA and currently in development in Western Australia’s mid-west,” Mr Creaghan added.
Minister MacTiernan said “we are working with industry to establish Western Australia as a leading producer, user and exporter of renewable hydrogen.
“Blending renewable hydrogen into the gas network reduces emissions from household gas use, and will help to build domestic demand for renewable hydrogen.
“Our hydrogen industry is expanding, diversifying our economy and creating jobs throughout the State,” she added.
The total cost of the project is estimated to be $2.6 million, with the McGowan Government providing a grant of $1.97 million.
This exciting announcement comes in the wake of ATCO celebrating the company’s 10th anniversary of its acquisition of the WA gas distribution network in July.