Hunter Valley: Green strategy for coal country

A consortium of major domestic and international energy players has devised a $2bn plan to fast-track Australia’s first hydrogen valley in the heart of the nation’s biggest coal province, using renewable energy to build an export industry and secure jobs in NSW.

ustralia’s largest aluminium smelter, Tomago, could be powered by renewables and firmed up with supplies from the power station. Picture: Supplied
Australia’s largest aluminium smelter, Tomago, could be powered by renewables and firmed up with supplies from the power station. Picture: Supplied

With the future of the region’s coalmining industry a key battleground in next week’s Upper Hunter by-election, an elaborate blueprint aims to use solar and wind generation to feed a “green” hydrogen pipeline supplying manufacturing plants with zero emissions. Hydrogen and ammonia would be exported from Newcastle using existing or new port infrastructure.

Companies in talks over the Hunter Hydrogen Network include power giant AGL Energy, pipeline operator APA Group, global energy producer Idemitsu and commodities trader Tra­figura and large-scale renewable energy developers RES Australia and WalchaEnergy.

Read the full article published in the Australian 17th May 2021