Frontier Energy could produce green hydrogen ‘significantly earlier’ than anticipated

Frontier Energy ASX FHE green hydrogen production Bristol Springs solar project
Earlier green hydrogen production is possible due to the Bristol Springs solar project’s ‘unique location’ near Waroona, which is in proximity to critical infrastructure that would reduce capital costs.

Preliminary results from Frontier Energy’s (ASX: FHE) green hydrogen study indicates the company could be producing the fuel “significantly earlier” than initially anticipated at its Bristol Springs solar project.

Frontier Energy said it was made possible due to Bristol Springs’ “unique location” near Waroona in Western Australia’s south west.

Under stage one at Bristol Springs, Frontier Energy initially plans to produce about 114 megawatts of direct current (MWdc) electricity using a “well-established” solar panel and tracking technology.

The project is already well-advanced and has locked-in development approval.

Frontier Energy managing director Mike Young said Xodus Group had been engaged to determine the minimum solar production that would be required to begin green hydrogen generation.

“We originally anticipated this would be larger than the stage one project (114MWdc) to justify the additional capital costs associated with hydrogen production.”

“The Bristol Springs project is, however, uniquely located around significant existing infrastructure, which is critical for the hydrogen industry – meaning our initial capital costs will be significantly less compared to more remote projects for first production,” Mr Young explained.

Hydrogen transition

He noted the project was also in proximity to likely first adopters of hydrogen energy including the users of the Dampier Bunbury gas pipeline and the long-haul transportation industry, which is currently reliant on diesel.

Underpinning the transition from diesel to hydrogen in WA is federal and state government support.

The Australian Government has allocated $1.3 billion in its 2022-2023 budget for energy security funding, which includes hydrogen investment.

Mr Young said it was clear at the recent World Hydrogen Conference in Rotterdam, the global market for green hydrogen is “rapidly growing”.

“It is clear hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, which have actually been around since the 1960s, will be a major part of global decarbonisation, especially in the long-and-heavy haulage transport industry.”

He added that given expectations for diesel prices, hydrogen in the long-haul transport industry is already an economically viable alternative.

Frontier Energy’s renewable expansion and green hydrogen studies are expected to be released “in the coming months.”

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