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Jemena and Solarig Join Forces to Pioneer Zero-Carbon Hydrogen

Jemena, a prominent energy infrastructure company in Australia, has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Spanish renewable energy giant Solarig. This partnership signifies a pivotal moment for Australia’s burgeoning renewable hydrogen sector, aiming to transform the energy landscape and contribute significantly to the nation’s decarbonisation goals.

Under this MOU, Jemena and Solarig will explore the feasibility and logistics of supplying zero-carbon renewable hydrogen to gas users within Jemena’s extensive network. The initial phase targets the development of hydrogen production and blending facilities in regional New South Wales. These facilities are expected to inject up to 35 terajoules (TJ) of renewable hydrogen annually into the local gas distribution network.

Strategic Vision for a Greener Future

The collaboration is set to position New South Wales as a national and international hub for renewable hydrogen. If the initial phase proves successful, both parties plan to expand their efforts, fostering the development of additional renewable hydrogen projects that will support Australia’s transition to a low-carbon economy.

Jemena’s Managing Director, Frank Tudor, highlighted the critical role of renewable hydrogen in achieving net-zero emissions. He emphasized that while there is no single solution to meet Australia’s emissions targets, renewable hydrogen forms a vital part of a diversified approach to energy sustainability. The Western Sydney Green Gas project, already co-funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), serves as a blueprint for these initiatives.

Economic and Environmental Benefits

The production of hydrogen using 100% renewable electricity is a cornerstone of Solarig’s strategy. Andrew Want, Solarig’s Australian Country Manager, stated that this approach not only supports industries like transport, agriculture, and mining in their decarbonisation efforts but also drives economic development and sustainable employment in regional Australia.

This project represents one of the first commercial renewable hydrogen facilities proposed for connection to Jemena’s network. The hydrogen produced will be blended with natural gas and used by homes, businesses, and industrial customers downstream, thus ensuring a reliable supply of cleaner energy.

Challenges and Innovations

One of the significant challenges Jemena faces includes navigating complex regulatory environments and ensuring high purity levels of hydrogen. Past projects, such as the Western Sydney Green Hydrogen Hub, have set industry standards and pioneered safety and permitting processes for hydrogen systems. These experiences will be instrumental in the successful implementation of the new facilities.

The partnership between Jemena and Solarig marks a significant advancement in Australia’s renewable hydrogen capabilities. By leveraging existing infrastructure and renewable resources, this collaboration aims to create a robust and scalable hydrogen economy that supports Australia’s broader decarbonisation efforts and paves the way for future innovations in renewable energy.

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