Delegates from H2C and other key stakeholders met in Inglewood to formally sign the agreement, recognizing the immense project potential to transform a readily available waste product into a source of renewable energy for the region.
The new hydrogen production site will utilize wastewater from the Goondiwindi WWTP and a new onsite solar array, to produce green hydrogen. The lesser-known by-product of this process is oxygen which will be utilized to increase long-term capacity and operational efficiency for the facility.
This innovative approach not only addresses environmental concerns associated with wastewater treatment but also positions the Goondiwindi Region as a pioneer in the production of green hydrogen.
Springborg said the WWTP will generate a small amount of green hydrogen "but will currently make us one of the largest producers in Australia.
“This innovation brands us leaders in this sector. This is Regional Australia at its best.
“The public-private partnership with H2C will generate commercial revenue for H2C through selling green hydrogen to the private sector.”
Simon Shaw, Managing Director of H2C, said that Council is forging a pathway that other Councils can follow. With over 1200 Wastewater Treatment Plants around Australia, there is an opportunity to feasibly produce and distribute green hydrogen and other renewables to nearby local businesses and residents.
“Producing and using renewable energy within the local area supports local economic growth and the reduction of carbon emissions across the region,” Shaw said. “Signing the agreement today allows H2C to contract the locals who will build the facility and the locals who will use the green hydrogen produced.”
“The leadership shown by Goondiwindi Council to support this innovative concept will provide the platform for other Councils to develop similar concepts and realise similar benefits that support their regions. Goondiwindi Regional Council and H2C were successful in securing $2 million in funding from the second round of the Queensland Government's Hydrogen Industry Development Fund (HIDF). This financial support further validates the significance and potential of the Goondiwindi Region and the Hydrogen Project,” said Shaw.
Council’s contribution of $3.5 million is limited to upgrading the existing WWTP facilities. These upgrades were anticipated in the coming years, irrespective of the hydrogen project.
H2C has secured $6 million for the initial stages of the project with further capital to be committed once local demand for green hydrogen increases.
“An innovative project such as this would be impossible without a collective of skilled partners from across the green hydrogen supply chain,” added Shaw. “Juice Capital Energy is one of the critical partners who are committed to the development of the Wastewater to Hydrogen project and providing green energy to local communities.”
“Juice Capital is excited to support H2C in the delivery of the Goondiwindi Hydrogen project. We look forward to bringing our expertise in funding and owning renewable energy assets (PV and battery) to this innovative project," said Jay Howard, Director.
“Council had already identified several major upgrades that would be required at the WWTP over the next 10 years - and those requirements would potentially have cost Council more than $20 million to realize,” Springborg said.
“However, by pioneering this innovative project in partnership with private enterprise, we will instead be able to achieve the outcomes we want at a greatly reduced cost to ratepayers - we could save as much as $15 million on future capital works as well as significantly expand the capacity of the WWTP to serve our community into the future.
“Council have worked to mitigate risks associated with this new technology. All indications are that the design will be successful."
The construction of a green hydrogen production site will commence within the next month and is planned to be operational before the end of the year.
PHOTO: Back: Cr Rick Kearney, Manager Water & Sewerage Trevor Seth, CEO Carl Manton. Front: Simon Shaw Managing Director The Hydrogen Collective and Hon. Cr Lawrence Springborg AM