New South Wales’ Hunter region will soon be home to what is believed to be Australia’s first ever hydrogen valley, unlocking potential world-class energy resources of the Central West, New England and Hunter-Central Coast renewable energy zones.

Dubbed the Hunter Hydrogen Network (H2N) project, the development will include large-scale hydrogen production, transportation and export projects to enable the development of a hydrogen economy in the region.

Such plans will be carried out by Energy Estate which has gathered together energy players, including AGL, APA Group, ITM Power, Idemitsu and Trafigura, RES Australia and WalchaEnergy, to support the development.

Further to that, Energy Estate is working closely with Beyond Zero Emissions on renewable energy industrial precincts in the Hunter and engagement with other regional stakeholders to ensure the project is developed utilising local skills and resources, with the aim of bringing new domestic manufacturing opportunities to the Hunter.

Commenting on the plans, Vincent Dwyer, Principal of Energy Estate, said, “H2N’s ambition is to enable Australia’s first hydrogen valley in the NSW Hunter, transforming the region into a global superpower of renewable energy supply.”

“A hydrogen economy and thriving supply chain in the Hunter has the potential to support local industry and workers into the jobs of the future and positions the Hunter in the race to be one of Australia’s leading renewable energy exporters.” 

Under plans for the first stage of the project, green hydrogen and the associated green feedstock will be produced for mining, vehicles and other industrial uses in the Upper Hunter.

The second phase of the project will then assess the transportation of hydrogen through a dedicated hydrogen pipeline to Newcastle, supplying future local users and exporters, including producers of green ammonia for export, green feedstock into the chemical sector, green fuels and hydrogen turbines to provide green dispatchable energy solutions.

Energy Estate Principal Simon Currie said creating a local supply chain will help ensure that Australia is a competitive producer of green hydrogen for domestic and export markets.

Currie, commented, “The project will be critical in enabling new long-term, sustainable jobs and will underpin the clean industrial precincts across the region.”