Aus & NZ: Neoen secures grants, loans for hydrogen plant

07 March 2018 - 12:00 am UTC

South Australia’s Labor Party has pledged AUD 5m in grants and an AUD 20m loan to a solar, wind and hydrogen plant that Neoen Australia is developing.

The first AUD 1m was awarded on Wednesday (7 March) to help complete a feasibility study for the AUD 600m plant, known as Crystal Brook. Another AUD 4m grant and AUD 20m loan will be available when it receives development approval.

Neoen is aiming to have a 150MW solar plant, a 150MW wind farm and a 400MW/h battery powering a 50MW electrolyser, which would produce hydrogen.

If built about 200km north of Adelaide, the government said in a statement the “Hydrogen Superhub” would be the biggest in the world.

The money is coming from the SA government’s Renewable Technology Fund (RTF), which had AUD 150m in grant and loan money and was first used to fund the 100MW Tesla and Neoen grid scale battery completed in December 2017.

The announcement of the funding for Crystal Brook was made in the lead up to the state election on 17 March where Labor is seeking a fifth term after 16 years in power.

But a spokesperson for Tom Koutsantonis, the party’s finance and energy spokesperson, said the funding will be supplied regardless of the election result.

This project is the fourth hydrogen facility the RTF is backing with grants and loans. 

Labor says it wants to kick start a hydrogen production industry in South Australia to store and export its growing reserves of renewable energy in the form of ammonia, which can be used for fertiliser or reconverted to hydrogen to hydrogen fuel celled vehicles.