Frontier Energy (ASX: FHE) has identified a major cost saving in its proposed green hydrogen production near its Bristol Springs solar project in Western Australia’s south west.
In a green hydrogen study, Frontier has identified numerous existing water sources to facilitate production near the solar project.
Frontier noted if it hadn’t been able to find a water source for its green hydrogen production, the company would have needed to build a desalination plant, which would have added “significant capital and operating costs”.
Water is essential to producing green hydrogen via electrolysis, with 9 litres required for every 1kg of hydrogen generated.
“The importance of accessing suitable water for green hydrogen production is a critical aspect many appear to be overlooking regarding the development of a sustainable green hydrogen industry,” Frontier managing director Mike Young said.
“Without access to a suitable existing water solution, developing a desalination plant is required.”
Mr Young said this could add hundreds of millions of dollars to a project’s initial capital costs, as well as increasing operating expenses.
“The development of a desalination plant will also slow a project’s development timeline given the stringent environmental and development conditions to be met.”
Potential water sources
Frontier’s green hydrogen study identified the Bunbury wastewater treatment plant, the Yarragadee freshwater aquifer and existing desalination facilities as all potential water sources for its project.
As part of this, Frontier is already in discussions with key stakeholders from each of the water sources regarding future access.
“The location of our Bristol Springs project has again given Frontier a major advantage to others with multiple options throughout the region for existing water access.”
Mr Young added the ability to use treated wastewater would add “yet another element of green to the project”.
Bristol Springs solar project
Power for generating green hydrogen will be source from Frontier’s Bristol Springs solar project.
The Bristol Springs project will feed into the region’s Southwest Interconnected System, which is the electricity grid covering WA’s entire south west.
Frontier resumed trade on the ASX in early March after raising $8 million to fund its renewable energy plans.
Bristol Springs will be developed 120km south of Perth, and will initially produce about 114 megawatts of direct current electricity.
This may be increased to 490MWdc through nearby land acquisition opportunities.
Green hydrogen refuelling station
As part of its plans to produce green hydrogen, Frontier has placed an order with sustainable gas technology company ENGV for a hydrogen refuelling station in Perth.
This station will be full automated to generate and store hydrogen to deliver 20kg a day at 700 bar pressure for “fast-fill” refuelling.
Frontier’s eventual strategy is to roll-out a hydrogen highway across WA as an alternative to diesel.
“By moving quickly to develop the first stations in WA, we are demonstrating our intention to be part of the whole value chain in one of the world’s fastest growing industries,” Mr Young said.