Acciona Energia signs two green hydrogen deals for facilities in Australia and the Iberian region

Acciona will supply power from its Aldoga PV project to the Australian hydrogen facility for use in local industry and export to Japan. Image: Acciona.

Acciona Energia has struck deals for multiple green hydrogen facilities, one with state-owned Australian energy company Stanwell Corporation and a joint venture with US company Plug Power Inc. to establish multiple production sites across Spain and Portugal.

Stanwell Corporation and Acciona have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop a 3GW green hydrogen facility in Queensland, Australia. It will be powered by Acciona’s Aldoga solar PV plant and will produce hydrogen for export to Japan and for use in local industry.

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Aldoga, located 20 kilometres north-west of Gladstone, was initially intended as a 250MW solar project but is now expected to expand to 600MW after recently gaining approval from the Queensland government to do so.

Stanwell’s CEO, Michael O’Rourke, said the company would “leverage the direct connection to the Aldoga Solar Farm to power stage one of the proposed CQ-H2 hydrogen facility”.

“Today’s agreement means that a central Queensland-based hydrogen facility could soon be fuelled with solar power, also produced in central Queensland,” said Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

In June, the Queensland government said it would invest AU$2 billion (US$1.55 billion) on renewables and hydrogen jobs to “supercharge” its green recovery and help it deliver on its 50% clean energy target by 2030.

Stanwell has brought together a consortium of Australian and Japanese companies to develop the electrolysis plant at Aldoga, which includes Australian gas infrastructure company APA Group and Japanese companies Iwatani Corporation, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Marubeni and Kansai Electric Power Company.

Palaszczuk said there was “growing demand for renewable hydrogen” in “markets like Japan and South Korea” and that “since announcing the landmark partnership between Iwatani and Stanwell, land has been secured at Aldoga and a US$10.4 million feasibility study has been announced.”

While an important first step, the facility “will require substantially higher quantities of renewable energy to support the development of stage two,” said O’Rourke.

The Aldoga Solar Farm, which has a 30-year lease, is due to start construction in September 2023, with generation output scheduled to commence in December 2025.

Acciona signs joint venture, formed AccionaPlug

Meanwhile, Acciona has signed a 50-50 joint venture with hydrogen fuel cell specialists Plug Power, forming AccionaPlug.

The company plans to invest more than €2 billion (US$2.41 billion) to develop, operate and maintain green hydrogen projects throughout Spain and Portugal. It will provide storage, transportation, and delivery services to its customers, initially targeting the industrial and mobility business segments. 

AccionaPlug is targeting hydrogen production facilities co-located directly with industrial customers as well as stand-alone plants that produce hydrogen for regional distribution. It expects the first of these to come online in 2023.

AccionaPlug is aiming for substantial market share of the green hydrogen business in Spain and Portugal by 2030, with medium term plans to have over 100 tonnes of green hydrogen production per day. It is also looking to develop multiple plants, including several 15 tonnes per day green hydrogen production plants to reliably serve industrial and emerging mobility demand.

“Working together as AccionaPlug, we will build a robust green hydrogen ecosystem that will help Europe deliver on its sustainability goals, positioning Spain and Portugal as leading global hydrogen hubs,” said Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh.

“AccionaPlug is the platform that will leverage Acciona’s presence and track record in renewable energy and Plug Power’s technology and knowledge in the hydrogen sector to ramp up the deployment of green hydrogen,” said Alan Ripa, newly appointed CEO of AccionaPlug and former Acciona chief executive supervisor.

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