Goondiwindi’s Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) is likely to become one of Australia’s first to expand into hydrogen production and create a hydrogen economy for the region.
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Steven Miles, said, “The Queensland Government is supporting Goondiwindi Regional Council and project partners to pioneer the integration of hydrogen production with wastewater treatment.
“This innovative approach to kickstarting a localised renewable hydrogen economy will be supported with the grant from round two of the $35 million Hydrogen Industry Development Fund (HIDF).
“The power generated from a 2.5 megawatt (MW) solar plant and wastewater will produce hydrogen that will be sold to local customers including agricultural users and heavy industry.
“Oxygen generated during the production process will go back into aerating wastewater, improving the WWTP’s efficiency.
“It’s possible the integration of these processes will be a model adopted by other councils as the use of renewable hydrogen energy increases.”
The project has a total estimated value of $15 million, with private sector funding for the project currently being finalised.
Round two of the HIDF is expected to see more than $20 million allocated to renewable hydrogen projects that are expected to support hundreds of highly skilled jobs.
Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, Mick de Brenni, said hydrogen was creating more jobs in more industries, especially in regional Queensland.
“Projects like this are being progressed across Queensland, leveraging the world-leading energy skills that are abundant in regional Queensland,” Mr de Brenni said.
“This round of funding is the HIDF’s largest investment so far in our growing hydrogen supply chain.
“We are creating a long-term, thriving domestic renewable hydrogen industry which will give some of the world’s largest companies access to competitively priced renewable energy options here on our shores and that equals jobs in the regions.
“This project joins a growing list of Palaszczuk Government commitments to a clean energy future, one where innovation drives economic growth and delivers high skilled jobs for Queenslanders.”
Goondiwindi Mayor, Cr Lawrence Springborg, said the real benefit to the community is that the project will substantially extend the life and efficiency of the waste water treatment plant for ratepayers.
“Council has been very active in pursuing this project as it has the potential to save our ratepayers millions in the replacement cost of the existing aging infrastructure, as well as reduce the ongoing operational expenses,” Mr Springborg said.
“As the WWTP has scope to produce a significant quantity of renewable hydrogen for use in the region, we are working with our partners, The Hydrogen Collective and Queensland University of Technology, to develop a local renewable hydrogen supply chain.
“We are also proud of the added environmental benefits from reusing wastewater for hydrogen production.”
The HIDF aligns with Queensland’s Recovery Plan to rebuild the state economy after the effects of COVID-19.
The fund supports the Queensland Hydrogen Industry Strategy, launched in 2019 with a focus on attracting investment and driving sustainable industry development.
Mr Miles said it is also part of the Queensland Government’s $3.34 billion Queensland Jobs Fund which is boosting the state’s industry footprint, creating jobs and strengthening Queensland’s economy.
“The Queensland Jobs Fund includes the $2 billion Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund and the $350 million Industry Partnerships Program,” Mr Miles said.
The HIDF is supporting projects across Queensland that focus on domestic uses of renewable hydrogen.
For more on hydrogen industry development visit: statedevelopment.qld.gov.au/hydrogen