South Australia to use excess solar power for world’s biggest hydrogen plant

White Cliffs solar power plant in New South Wales. Australia has the potential to become one of the world’s leading green hydrogen producers (Richard Gifford/CC BY 2.0)
The state of South Australia plans the world’s largest hydrogen power station fuelled by the world’s largest electrolyser.

The 200MW scheme, and the 250MW electrolyser, will be developed by the Office of Hydrogen Power in South Australia

The plant will be built near the city of Whyalla, about 100km northwest of Adelaide, and its US$414m cost will be met entirely by the government of South Australia. 

Sam Crafter, the chief executive of the Office of Hydrogen Power, told the Renew Economy website that the aim was to create a green hydrogen hub at Whyalla’s Port Bonython. He said: “It will be the launching pad to get to those larger scale projects that the industry is rushing towards.”

The scheme will also help to balance supply and demand in the South Australian grid. At present the state produces more solar energy than it can consume; the government has previously asked consumers to turn on as many appliances as possible to prevent an overload.

The electrolyser will operate during daylight hours, when solar power generation peaks, and will be turned off at night.

At present, South Australia produces more than 69% of its electricity from wind and solar, and this is expected to rise to 100% before 2030.

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