Plans lodged for hydrogen fuel station in Fyshwick

Ian Bushnell 13 January 2020 30
Announcement of the hydrogen fuelling station

Neoen Australia Deputy CEO Romain Desrousseaux, ActewAGL CEO John Knox and Minister for Climate Change Shane Rattenbury at ActewAGL’s CNG site in Fyshwick last May announcing plans for the hydrogen refuelling station. Photo: Supplied.

The first step in what could be Australia’s hydrogen fuel revolution is being taken in Fyshwick by local energy provider ActewAGL and its partner, French renewable energy company Neoen.

ActewAGL has lodged plans for the first refuelling centre of its kind in Australia to be built at its compressed natural gas (CNG) station in Mildura Street.

The new hydrogen facility will augment the CNG facility and service a new fleet of 20 Hyundai Nexo hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for the ACT Government as part of its commitment to sustainable energy sources and technologies.

But the new facility, which will cost $2.8 million, will also be available to the public, making Canberra the first Australian city to have such a service.

Hydrogen vehicles are emissions-free, compared to a standard petrol vehicle, which emits about 4600 kg of carbon a year on average.

The site of the hydrogen refuelling station

The site of the hydrogen refuelling station. Photo: Supplied.

Hydrogen vehicles use a fuel cell stack to create electricity which drives the vehicle’s electric motor. A fuel cell stack uses stored hydrogen, mixes it with oxygen and creates electricity – the only by-product is water.

As well as providing fuel for the Government fleet and the public, the Fyshwick project will help industry players understand the long-term operating costs of hydrogen refuelling stations.

ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury said when the project was announced last May that the building of the station in Mildura Street was a momentous step towards the ACT’s transition to 100 per cent renewable energy and zero-emission transport.

When all of the ACT’s electricity is sourced from renewable generation after 2020, transport will account for 60 per cent of remaining emissions. To help reduce the transport emissions, the government is committed to having half of its passenger car fleet electric by 2019-20.

Neoen believes hydrogen is an exciting opportunity to decarbonise many other sectors of the Australian economy, and potentially foreign sectors as well, through the export of renewable hydrogen.

Late last year, energy ministers voted to adopt a National Hydrogen Strategy.

Hyundai Next

The Hyundai Nexo. Photo: Wikipedia

In Fyshwick, the hydrogen fuel will be delivered through an additional dispenser located under the existing canopy.

ActewAGL says the proposed addition of hydrogen refuelling infrastructure on the site is in keeping with the current usage and zoning of the site, and environmental impacts will be low.

The Crown lease will need to be varied to add ‘municipal depot’ as a permitted use.

The DA says that a hydrogen facility is similar to a conventional petrol station, but it generates fuel (through electrolysis) and stores the product on site, eliminating the need to transport fuel to the site.

The upgrade will require the installation of a new electrolyser, compressor, purifier, cooling units and storage facilities.

The proposed site works include the construction of six new concrete slabs, a block wall infill and extensions and modifications to the existing gates and site security fencing.

Small areas of existing soft landscaping will be reclaimed for the construction of the concrete slabs. Two trees are proposed to be removed as part of the works. All other trees near the works will be protected.

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16 Responses to Plans lodged for hydrogen fuel station in Fyshwick
Lyndon Zoukowski Lyndon Zoukowski 10:31 pm 14 Jan 20

Great first step

Sherbie Leo Sherbie Leo 7:06 pm 14 Jan 20

Seriously, we don’t have enough charging stations for the electric cars the government want us to buy. I’m hoping power diversity is a good idea 🤷🏻‍♀️

Christopher Mawbey Christopher Mawbey 6:07 pm 14 Jan 20

About bloody time.

Graham Franklin-Browne Graham Franklin-Browne 4:47 pm 14 Jan 20

For long haul freight hydrogen is viable. For cars it is dead end tech. Batteries are way more efficient and getting cheaper.

    Neenie Baines Neenie Baines 6:09 pm 14 Jan 20

    Graham Franklin-Browne my climatologist husband wants to wait for hydrogen tech cars. So that speaks volumes....

    Calvin Chan Calvin Chan 8:18 pm 14 Jan 20

    Why do you say Hydrogen Fuel cell technology for cars is "dead end tech"?

    Certainly Toyota and a number of other large vehicle manufacturers don't think it is.

    Graham Franklin-Browne Graham Franklin-Browne 8:59 pm 14 Jan 20

    Calvin Chan Infrastructure and the manufacture of hydrogen is an energy intensive process. Batteries are as well, but you don't have transport fuel to filling points - just use the network. Definitely more appropriate for long distance hauling however. 🙂

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 5:08 pm 09 Feb 20

    Electric cars as they are now have too short a range and take too long to fill. Fine in places like Europe and cities, but for those who drive long distances in the outback, not viable as it is at present. Hydrogen appears a much better alternative for Australia with its bigger distances.

Barry Finch Barry Finch 4:40 pm 14 Jan 20

Bring it on. Seems to be the way to go.

Jason Preston Jason Preston 3:10 pm 14 Jan 20

Hydrogen is probably better in the long term especially in Australia, since, like lpg cars, you can rock up to a refueling point, fuel, and go.

Electric isn’t great for long hauls, especially in business where a quick turn around is needed. It’s ok for short hauls and city driving. The only drawback with electrics is the battery and all that lithium

    Paul Irving Paul Irving 7:27 pm 14 Jan 20

    Jason. Electric vehicles, have their place. The problem is that people want to use them poorly. Most daily commutes in Aussie are less than 30km each way. But the people complaining about distance and recharge want to be able to use them on the 5% of daily runs greater than 500km.

    They are also the people who own a big four wheel drive SUV so the can tow the caravan or boat for two weeks a year.

    Jason Preston Jason Preston 7:28 pm 14 Jan 20

    Paul Irving


    Agree but in my line of work I’m usually doing about 650-900 per day and I’m looking for quick turn around and minimal time for refueling

Justin Newbury Justin Newbury 2:39 pm 14 Jan 20

Where will the onsite smoking area be located?

    Chris Bennett Chris Bennett 3:33 pm 14 Jan 20

    If you smoke onsite, very soon you will be relocated to the Offsite smoking/smoldering area

    Fortress Epiphany Fortress Epiphany 7:25 pm 14 Jan 20

    Chris Bennett oh the humanity 😃

    Chris Bennett Chris Bennett 7:25 pm 14 Jan 20

    I should rephrase that as: Explosively relocated

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