Funding worth AUD$22.8 million (£12.6m) has been announced to develop, build and operate the “next-generation” of hydrogen service station in Australia.
The New Energies Service Station will be built opposite Viva Energy’s petroleum refinery in Geelong, Victoria and incorporate a 2MW electrolyser along with hydrogen compression, storage and dispensing infrastructure.
In addition, it will include 150kW electric vehicle charging facilities.
The funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will go towards both the renewable hydrogen and EV infrastructure as well as subsidize the purchase and operation of 15 hydrogen fuel cell EVs (FCEVs).
All vehicles will be purchased and owned by project partners – Toll Group, ComfortDelGro Corporation Australia, Cleanaway and Barwon Water have committed to buy hydrogen FCEVs for their fleets which include prime movers, wastewater and municipal waste collection vehicles and buses.
Viva Energy CEO Scott Wyatt said: “This funding from ARENA has opened the door for Viva Energy to work with long term customers to demonstrate the important role that hydrogen will play in the future of transportation in Australia.
“This project puts hydrogen-powered vehicles on the road to prove their value in day-to-day commercial operations while reducing the carbon footprint of the heavy vehicle transport we rely on every day.”
Over time, Viva Energy plans to add traditional diesel refueling onsite to allow drivers to witness FCEV charging.
ARENA CEO Darren Miller added: “The experiences of Viva Energy and fleet vehicles using the renewable hydrogen produced onsite for refueling will provide valuable insights into the operation of different types of hydrogen FCEV heavy vehicles.
“This project will be a key opportunity for early uptake of commercially viable hydrogen and a service station model that could be replicated across Australia as the price of electrolyser technology drops.”