A small team at Fortescue Future Industries’ has officially made industrial grade hydrogen for the first time using an electrolyser at its Western Australian facility, the company has announced.

The ‘green leg’ of Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) is in the process of installing solar panels at FFI’s Dawson Road facility, which will mean the electrolyser will be able to produce green hydrogen in 2022 through a pressurised alkaline system.

Outcomes of this project will inform FFI’s electrolyser technology selection going forward, while it works towards its target to produce 15 million tonnes of green hydrogen per year by 2030.

FFI chairman Andrew Forrest said the team spent hours on the project, facing setbacks along the way.

“This electrolyser was internally designed, built and commissioned by a small, dedicated team of experts – an impressive achievement that is representative of the hard work that is happening across the whole of FFI,” he said.

“This is not the first time FFI’s team of experts have beaten their stretch targets. Earlier this year, FFI retrofitted a huge mining haul truck to run on hydrogen, producing only steam, in just 130 days.”

The internally designed supporting hydrogen gas management system is fully operational and will be used to test all of FFI’s prototypes and designs.

HyEnergy Zero-Carbon Project receives Lead Agency status

The Western Australian government has awarded the HyEnergy Zero-Carbon Green Energy Project lead agency status – meaning the project has been recognised as a ‘significant’ project in the State’s interest.

This allows for a higher level of facilitation to be coordinated by a nominated State agency, in this case the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation.

Province Resources (ASX:PRL) has teamed up with leading French renewable Independent Power Producer Total Eren to complete the scoping studies and to develop the HyEnergy Project, with a scoping study into the 8 GW development now close to being completed.

Hydrogen Industry Minister Alannah MacTiernan announced the lead agency status at a ceremony on Saturday 18 December 2021 to open Province Resources’ new Carnarvon office.

“Lead Agency Status recognises the very real significance of Province’s HyEnergy Project as we position WA as a global renewable hydrogen force,” MacTiernan said.

“This will deliver to the project access to coordinated and streamlined Government support.”

Province is developing the renewable green hydrogen project in WA’s Gascoyne region, where it has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Global Energy Ventures (ASX:GEV) to undertake a feasibility study on the export of green hydrogen.

The project is well suited for compressed hydrogen shipping, given its proximity to the coast and being situated within a regional distance to multiple APAC markets with a future requirement for imported hydrogen.

New partnership sees the development of the Aurora Energy Project in South Australia

1414 Degrees (ASX:14D) has entered into an exclusivity Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ovida Infrastructure Pty Ltd to develop the Aurora Energy Project near Port Augusta.

While a final investment decision is targeted for late 2022, the two companies will work together and undertake project-related activities focused on the development of a 140 MW / 280 MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS).

14D says a further agreement will be in mid 2022 and may involve Ovida taking an ownership interest in the project – which also includes a 70 MW Solar Photo-Voltaic array and 150 MW Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), sub-station and associated works that enable connection to the National Electricity Market (NEM).

Ovida is a subsidiary of Jemena Ltd (Jemena Group), one of Australia’s largest owners and operators of energy infrastructure with more than $11 billion of assets under management.

Origin acquires WINconnect

Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) has added further scale to its growing community energy services business on the back of its acquisition of WINconnect – majority owned by Pacific Equity Partners (PEP).

The energy stock has also agreed to certain amendments to its Master Services Agreement (MSA) with Intellihub, also majority-owned by PEP, under which Intellihub provides metering services to Origin.

Once completed, the acquisition will add 87,000 embedded electricity network and serviced hot water customers to Origin with a pipeline of 36,000 further contracted apartments.

The majority of WINconnect customers are in Victoria and New South Wales, with a smaller number in Queensland, South Australia, and Western Australia.