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Renewable hydrogen demonstration: creating local opportunities

Renewable hydrogen demonstration: creating local opportunities

Renewable hydrogen production in Queensland is destined for regional success, with plans underway to build the Kogan Renewable Hydrogen Demonstration Plant in the south western Darling Downs.

Who’s making it happen?

Executive General Manager - Future Energy at CS Energy, Emma Roberts

The plant will be majority owned by the state government and developed by CS Energy, a diversified energy business, in a joint venture with Senex Energy. It will be one of the state’s first renewable hydrogen projects to come online, with $28.9 million from the Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund allocated to the project.

IHI Engineering Australia is set to commence construction in mid 2023.

Executive General Manager - Future Energy at CS Energy, Emma Roberts says, ‘The project is expected to be operational in early 2024 and will produce approximately 75,000 kilograms of hydrogen per year.’

Hydrogen can be used both as a fuel and to store energy.

Kogan facilities

The CS Energy plant will be built near Chinchilla - approximately 300km west of Brisbane.

Layout of Kogan Renewable Hydrogen Demonstration Plant facilities

The Kogan Renewable Hydrogen Demonstration precinct will include several co-located facilities including:

CS Energy is also planning a refueller network that will form part of Queensland’s Hydrogen Super Highway and the East Coast renewable hydrogen refuelling network; for heavy transport along Australia’s eastern seaboard.

Why demonstrate renewable hydrogen?

The production of hydrogen is essential to fulfil Queensland’s target of 70% renewable energy by 2032, as outlined in the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan (QEJP). The goal of the Kogan Renewable Hydrogen Demonstration Plant is for CS Energy to gain expertise in the production, storage, transport and handling of hydrogen. The project will be powered by behind the meter solar energy from the project’s own solar farm, and not powered by the grid.

Emma explains having a co-located solar farm, ‘means that only green electrons will power the demonstration plant’s hydrogen electrolyser.’

‘No green certificates will be required to “wash” the hydrogen and surplus renewable energy can be dispatched into the National Electricity Market.’

The plant’s battery stores excess solar energy so hydrogen can be produced outside solar hours.

The benefits of demonstrating these activities to traditional sectors are threefold:

‘The portal is complete and has provided CS Energy and our construction contractor IHI Engineering Australia with a database of local businesses to approach for tenders during the construction and operation of the Kogan facility,’ says Emma.

‘The portal is a valuable resource for other hydrogen developers in the region as well.’

CS Energy are also collaborating with TSBE, the Western Downs Regional Council and Construction Skills Queensland.

‘We are conducting an industry-led investigation to identify the new skills needed to create a sustainable and long-term industry via the Southern Queensland Hydrogen Industry Institute,’ says Emma.

How this creates opportunities for Queenslanders?

Queensland has historically relied on carbon-based industries, but our economy is shifting to overcome climate related challenges. Fortunately, our state’s natural resources are essential for developing low emission technologies and there is increased global demand for renewables, including hydrogen exports.

As part of the Queensland new-industry development strategy (QNIDS), the department has established the Local economic opportunities (LEO) network. LEO supports communities to harness regional economic diversification and helps businesses capitalise on the opportunities of decarbonisation. Find out what support is available for Queensland businesses on our website.

Last updated: 03 Jul 2023