Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) and Windlab will collaborate to develop a 10GW green hydrogen project, powered by solar PV and wind energy, in North Queensland, the state government has announced.
The North Queensland Super Hub will feed 10GW of PV and wind energy into the Australian grid to power the production of green hydrogen at the Green Energy Manufacturing Centre, an electrolyser factory.
The project’s first stage is expected to be under construction by 2025, and will include an 800MW wind farm and the 1GW ‘Wongalee Project’, the nature of which was unspecified. The first parts of the project are expected to be operational in 2027.
“The North Queensland Super Hub is an outstanding investment in Queensland’s energy future, from two companies with a longstanding presence in our state and a unique understanding of our natural resources and potential,” said Queensland state premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“With our natural resources and catalytic projects like the North Queensland Super Hub, our state is in the hot seat to supply green hydrogen to the world.”
Queensland is an attractive prospect for renewable energy and hydrogen projects, due to both its natural solar, wind and land mass resources and the state government’s ‘Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund’, an AU$2 billion (US$1.3 billion) fund to encourage new renewables projects introduced last year.
Deputy premier and minister for state development, Steven Miles, said: “The Super Hub will secure Townsville and North Queensland as an ideal location to support large-scale green hydrogen projects, bringing with it good secure jobs”
John Martin, Windlab CEO, said: “This facility marks a big step towards realising our strategic, scalable development plan that leverages the region’s untapped renewable energy base to transform Australia’s electricity market and drive the nation’s clean energy transition.”
In December last year, a 3GW green hydrogen facility in Queensland was agreed upon by Acciona Energia and Australian energy company Stanwell Corporation, to be powered by solar PV.
FFI has announced various projects in Australia that see the company looking to transition to renewable energy. In February, its founder Andrew Forrest announced a AU$3 billion (US$2 billion) investment in a solar, wind and battery renewables hub in Queensland. The company is also planning a Western Australia renewables hub including 3.3GW of solar PV to power its mining operations.
Queensland has a renewable energy target of 70% by 2032, and the North Queensland Super Hub forms part of the wider Queensland Super Grid, to establish reliable green energy in the state.
“Our SuperGrid – made up of wind and solar projects, battery storage and pumped hydro – will supply Queensland with clean, affordable and reliable energy in the decades ahead,” premier Palaszczuk said.