Plans for another massive wind and solar development have been unveiled in South Australia, this time in the state’s north as developers race to map out possibilities for multi gigawatt scale projects that could deliver the electricity supplies needed for a green hydrogen industry.
Details were unveiled on Wednesday for the Moolawatana Renewable Hydrogen Project, proposed to be constructed nearby to the Moolawatana Station around 570km north of Adelaide, with an emerging global export market for zero emissions hydrogen in mind.
The project is being developed by Kallis Energy Investments, led by chairman Terry Kallis, who has previous involvement in the Starfish Will wind farm, the Star of the South offshore wind farm currently under development and the proposed 5,000MW Murchison Renewable Hydrogen project in Western Australia.
According to the project proponents, the hydrogen facility could ultimately be scaled up to 6,000MW in capacity, supplied by a mix of wind and solar generation.
The project would include the construction of a dedicated pipeline between the project to facilities near Port Bonython, for processing into ammonia that can then be prepared for export.
“The project has the potential to contribute significantly to national, state and local objectives for new investment, new jobs, renewable energy sources and new export markets,” Kallis said.
“For example, if the project is built to its maximum of 6,000 MW, it would contribute about 40 per cent of the State’s goal for 500 per cent renewables by 2050.”
“There is a great opportunity for Australia and in particular South Australia – with its high renewable penetration and experience – to become a global powerhouse in the production of green hydrogen,” Kallis added.
It is very early days however, and just one of a number of large scale projects put forward. It is progressing through its ‘pre-feasibility’ stage and undertaking a range of consultation and preliminary assessments.
The announcement of the planned project was welcomed by South Australian energy minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan.
“The Marshall Government welcomes Kallis Energy’s interest in developing a giga-watt scale renewable hydrogen project in South Australia to supply the rapidly emerging overseas markets for green hydrogen. This plan shows that the Marshall Government’s world-leading Hydrogen Action Plan has put SA on the map,” van Holst Pellekaan said.
“The project aligns with the Marshall Government’s Hydrogen Action Plan and our target of net zero emissions by 2050, and shows the scale of investment and jobs that can be created in South Australia.”
“The project will be subject to a number of development and regulatory approvals involving several state government agencies.”
Kallis added that South Australia was an attractive destination for hydrogen investment, given the strong, bipartisan, political support at the state level.
Both South Korea and Japan have emerged as key future markets for green hydrogen, with another project proposed by the Japanese business giant Marubeni Corporation recently winning Japanese government backing to establish a pilot supply-chain for green hydrogen throughout the Indo-Pacific region.
South Australia is likely to be an ideal candidate for early investments in Australian green hydrogen production, allowing the state to better tap into its abundant renewable energy supplies.
The state averages more than 62 per cent wind and solar over the last year, despite high levels of curtailment that peaked earlier this week when almost half of the state’s wind and solar output was curtailed as supplies of zero emissions electricity massively exceeded the state’s needs on the weekend.