First Gas says its hydrogen pilot which today received a Government PGF grant will “unlock” hydrogen as a renewable energy source in New Zealand.
The company’s hydrogen pipeline trial, developing alongside the National New Energy Development Centre being set up in Taranaki, will assess whether hydrogen can be used in New Zealand and transported via the existing gas pipe network.
First Gas CEO Paul Goodeve said the project would pull together an ecosystem of Taranaki energy experts to decide how hydrogen can be used and distributed.
“Speculation about hydrogen is over – this is the reality test.
“This is the project that will work out how hydrogen can be used and distributed. It will result in the first-ever commercial pilot in New Zealand of hydrogen from production to distribution to end use,” Goodeve said.
He said the complete three-phase project will produce data essential to establishing a hydrogen economy, and to a closed network pilot in phase three that supplies hydrogen along an existing gas network to an end commercial user.
The first phase – a Hydrogen Pipeline Trial – will guide understanding of how hydrogen could be used, how the gas grid could be converted, the role of hydrogen in decarbonisation, and selection of the best location for a closed network pilot.
Costs of the $520,000 phase one project will be evenly split between First Gas and the PGF. The phase will also assess the potential for using hydrogen or blends in different end uses such as heating, transport, power generation and integration with other renewable generation sources.
It will also examine the technical feasibility of converting the existing gas grid, including physical adaptations and gas metering, and the scale and capability of the necessary hydrogen support “economy”.
Hydrogen is emissions-free at the point of use and can be created out of abundant renewable sources such as water (splitting hydrogen from oxygen).
For more information contact Ben Gerritsen, General Manager Commercial and Regulation
DDI 04 979 5361, M 021 911 946