Denham set for hydro-boost
The WA town of Denham is on track to become a zero-emission community with the help of hydrogen power.
Authorities in the town are preparing to test a hydrogen plant powered by solar energy, which could produce enough fuel to power about 100 homes.
It will supplement four nearby wind turbines, which already produce about 60 per cent of the town’s electricity.
Storing the hydrogen in fuel cells will make it available around the clock, not dependent on the sun shining.
“Hopefully it works, then it can be introduced into other areas that are suffering power loss, like your Perenjoris and those sort of areas, and those Wheatbelt towns,” said Shire of Shark Bay chief executive Paul Anderson.
The project is being run by Horizon Power, which has been leased a 20-hectare parcel of land outside the town, 700 kilometres north of Perth.
The scheme uses a 500-kilowatt solar farm to generate electricity that powers an electrolyser, which splits water into hydrogen and oxygen.
The resulting hydrogen can then be stored in fuel cells and used to generate electricity for local homes and businesses.
Excess energy from the solar panels would be fed directly into the grid.
“Proving the reliability of such a hydrogen plant provides the opportunity to expand the plant to supply the full power requirements for the town in the future,” says Horizon Power chief executive Stephanie Urwin.