Powering a town in remote Western Australia 

Where
Denham, Australia

What
Green energy back-up system for a municipality

When
2022

Hydrogen made from renewable energy will be used to help power an Australian community in western Australia. Horizon Power together with ENGV, has commissioned a pilot project that will convert electricity from a solar plant to make green hydrogen in the community of Denham. The green hydrogen will then be used as fuel for a fuel cell system capable of generating enough electricity to supply about 100 homes.

ENGV as part of Pacific Energy

ENGV Pty Ltd was established in 2013 as a full-service provider to meet the needs of customers in all areas of gas storage, vehicle and transport. ENGV has grown with the evolving Australian energy market. Our partnerships with leading technology providers in renewable hydrogen and biomethane/RNG broaden our capabilities and expertise in the transition to a low carbon economy. During 2022 the company was acquired by Pacific Energy.

About the hydrogen project in Denham

How many homes can the solution support?
100 homes in Denham, Western Australia

How much CO2 will the hydrogen electric solution save?
It could cut the town’s use of diesel by 140,000 litres a year, this is equal to 360 000 kg of CO2.

What are the major components in the system?
The hydrogen plant will consist of a dedicated 704kW solar farm, 348kW electrolyzer, hydrogen compression and storage, and a 100kW fuel cell.

Will the Denham power station still rely on diesel?
At this point in time, it would not be economically viable to power Denham solely from renewable energy. However, the hydrogen demonstration plant will provide valuable information on whether this technology can use excess renewable power to provide baseload power. In addition, ENGV recognizes the community’s interest in renewable energy and commit to reducing carbon emissions and increasing the amount of renewable energy generated in the region over time.

PowerCell Group delivery

The first project of its kind in Australia, ENGV together with Horizon Power, has committed to replacing the coastal city of Denham’s diesel generators – providing the citizens with green energy all year.

The demonstration plant will utilize solar and renewable hydrogen generation and storage to provide 526 megawatt hours (MWh) of dispatchable renewable electricity per year, the equivalent energy used to power 100 homes. The green energy is sourced from a wind farm and solar panels.
The green hydrogen solution will bring several benefits to the Denham community in addition to reducing carbon emissions. Several new jobs will be created during the construction phase of the solar farm, a knowledge bank that will put the community in the driver’s seat for Australia’s energy transition, while at the same time upgrading existing power generation facilities.
At PowerCell, we delivered a PS100 with DC/DC last summer. Since then, we have helped ENGV complete their installation and obtain the necessary permits to operate the system. We have also worked closely with the company working to implement the international standards for this new type of installation in Australia.

During the third quarter of 2022 PowerCell supported ENGV remotely with the commissioning of the fuel cell system to verify the functions of the system and integration at the customer site. In supporting ENGV step by step, we were then able to guide the commissioning and actual operation feeding electricity straight to Denham’s grid, once again remotely from Sweden.

And we will continue to support, in educating and training for continued operations and maintenance.

The trial was a breakthrough for the use of hydrogen as a fuel that could backup renewable energy when the wind was not blowing, or the sun was not shining.

Bill Johnston WA Energy Minister

System layout

Remote communities like Denham are typically powered by diesel-powered microgrids. The Denham pilot project will demonstrate whether renewable hydrogen energy can be used to generate baseload electricity. It is expected to generate 526 MWh per year, enough electricity for up to 100 homes.

The system’s energy source is both wind and solar, which is used to power the local community. When there is a surplus of energy, the system provides electrolysis, which uses electricity to split water into oxygen and hydrogen, which is then stored

The fuel cell system is then used to generate electricity from the hydrogen along with oxygen when energy demand needs to be met at peak times or when the sun is not shining, or the wind is not blowing.

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