Yarra Valley Water's Green Hydrogen Project
By Victor Perton, Board Member, Yarra Valley Water
I am delighted to see the Victorian Government's renewable energy generation and storage projects package includes $11.9 million for Yarra Valley Water "to install an electrolyser to make renewable hydrogen using recycled water in Wollert."
Our Yarra Valley Water Aurora site in Wollert houses a Sewage Treatment Plant, a Recycled Water Plant and our award-winning food Waste to Energy facility.
We’ve launched a pilot "green hydrogen" project to test the technology that would enable sustainable hydrogen energy to be produced at the Aurora site.
The green hydrogen production process uses recycled water and renewable energy sources. We’re already producing both of these at Aurora, which is powered by green energy from the existing food waste-to-energy facilities.
The site is ideally placed for a future green hydrogen plant, sitting on 160 hectares of land in an established buffer zone next to a major freeway on the outskirts of Melbourne.
The pilot project involves capturing and storing green hydrogen gas through a process known as electrolysis. And the by-product from hydrogen production – oxygen – can potentially be used to make our sewage treatment processes more efficient. A successful pilot project is a conditional requirement for us to access the grant announced by the Premier. This would fund the development of a larger, permanent green hydrogen production facility at Aurora.
I am optimistic for the future of green hydrogen and proud of the energy and innovation of our Yarra Valley Team.
As our Yarra Valley Water Managing Director, Pat McCafferty said, “This is an exciting development in our journey towards a carbon-free future and delivering our purpose to create a brighter future for communities and the natural environment. Renewable hydrogen will play a crucial role in Victoria’s low carbon transition, providing carbon-free gas for use in homes and businesses while also supporting the renewable electricity transition. Yarra Valley’s renewable hydrogen project is an excellent demonstration of this low-carbon future and shows the very important role water businesses will likely play in the energy transition. It is a fantastic initiative that we are proud to support.”