ATCO green hydrogen added to on-site natural gas networkDecember 19, 2019
The Canadian gas giant achieve a major renewable hydrogen milestone.
ATCO green hydrogen has been added into the on-site natural gas network at the company’s Clean Energy Innovation Hub. The hydrogen (H2) and natural gas blend will be used throughout the Jandakot depot, located in Perth, Western Australia, and will be the first step in exploring the potential of using hydrogen for homes in gas appliances.
The Clean Energy Innovation Hub is a testing ground for hybrid energy solutions.
The ATCO facility has a microgrid that features a 300 kilowatt (kW) solar array of an estimated 1100 solar panels and 400 kWh of batteries. The photovoltaic (PV) system is able to generate two and a half times the daily power requirements of the facility.
The excess solar power that is produced is partially stored in batteries. The remainder of the power is utilized to run an electrolyzer and generate H2. The resulting ATCO green hydrogen is blended with the natural gas or it is stored as fuel for a backup generator.
Having successfully blended the renewable hydrogen with the natural gas to power appliances, such as gas-powered air conditioners and cooktops, this is the company’s fist step in ongoing testing around the potential of using hydrogen to lower the natural gas network’s carbon footprint.
The ATCO green hydrogen project received $1.6 million in funding from ARENA.
The project, which received $1.6 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), is part of the Advancing Renewables Program. This has allowed for different combinations of energy blends to be tested by integrating natural gas, solar, H2 and battery storage.
The main goal of the Jandakot hub is to provide insights into getting the most out of hydrogen storage and distribution solutions, blending green hydrogen with natural gas, and using H2 as a balancing fuel to support the gird.
“We established the Hub to investigate the role hydrogen could play in the future energy mix, and to generate insights into how our gas distribution network can continue to benefit customers into the future,” said Stevan Green, President of ATCO’s Gas Division in Australia.
Green added that while the company knows that in Western Australia natural gas offers a cost-effective and lower carbon option compared to grid-supplied electricity, they also understand the importance of a clean energy future and have every intention of continuing their efforts with the ATCO green hydrogen projects to make this future a reality.
Another unspoken virtue of Power to Gas (P2G) is that you aren’t reliant on ship or intra-country transport of fuel, so your energy supply can’t be interdicted. I’m amazed that ATCO hasn’t joined with the German DVGW P2G effort – it would save a lot of cut and try. DVWG has been using P2G for many years now, and Germany is going to expand their use of P2G dramatically. Putin doesn’t yet control the sun…
But kudos to Australia’s ARENA and Canada’s ATCO for this project. The USA is so mired in Energy lobby money it’ll take a miracle to break that stranglehold. Over here we’ll just continue to pretend P2G doesn’t exist, apparently until the bitter end. It’s the Golden Rule ascendant – “Them what has the Gold writes the rules…”