The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), an independent agency of the Australian federal government, will provide funding for Toyota Motor Corporation Australia Limited to start the transformation of part of its decommissioned car manufacturing plant in Altona Victoria into a renewable energy hub to produce green hydrogen for transport.
The $7.4 million Toyota Australia Hydrogen Centre is part of a larger transformation planned for the former car manufacturing site where manufacturing ceased in 2017.
On behalf of the Australian Government, ARENA will provide $3.1 million towards the Toyota Australia Hydrogen Centre project. The Hydrogen Centre will include solar PV and battery storage to cover the incremental energy requirements for the production of renewable hydrogen through electrolysis and utilisation for both mobile and stationary applications. As an emission free fuel, hydrogen can also be used to power vehicles and help decarbonise Australia’s transport sector.
The project will aim to demonstrate an end-to-end process for the hydrogen creation chain; from producing hydrogen through electrolysis to the compression and storage of hydrogen and electricity generation via hydrogen fuel cells.
The Hydrogen Centre will also include an education centre and Victoria’s first commercial scale hydrogen vehicle refuelling station infrastructure on site to allow the refueling of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
The project will produce at least 60 kg of hydrogen per day with on-site solar PV and battery storage to contribute to the incremental energy requirements of the whole site.
ARENA Chief Executive Officer Darren Miller said Toyota’s Hydrogen Centre would demonstrate hydrogen as a viable fuel source for transport and as an energy storage medium. “The demonstration of low cost hydrogen production and distribution is key to the uptake of hydrogen-powered electric vehicles in areas such as truck, bus and government fleets,” Mr Miller said.
“Australia holds a competitive advantage to play a global role in the emerging hydrogen export market due to our existing expertise and infrastructure. We’re excited to see Toyota add their skills to the mix and be a major player in increasing the uptake of hydrogen applications in different sectors.”
Toyota Australia’s President and CEO Matt Callachor said: “Hydrogen has the potential to play a pivotal role in the future because it can be used to store and transport energy from wind, solar and other renewable sources to power many things, including vehicles like the Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle.
“Right now, the biggest factor to the success of hydrogen being widely available is a lack of infrastructure. The sooner we move to a zero emission society the better, and Toyota is committed to making this a reality.”