CSIRO, Swinburne to establish $10m hydrogen hub

Swinburne University of Technology has recieved $10 million in funding from the Victorian Government enabling it to partner with CSIRO to establish the Victorian Hydrogen Hub (VH2).

VH2 is designed to bring researchers, industry associations and businesses together to explore new and emerging hydrogen technologies. The hub will support sustainable manufacturing practices, as well as the ability to store clean energy from renewable sources.

Under the partnership, CSIRO will also receive over $1 million towards the development of a refuelling station, to test hydrogen vehicles.

The refuelling station, to be built at CSIRO’s Clayton Campus, is a key milestone in the development of CSIRO’s national Hydrogen Industry Mission, which aims to create over 8,000 jobs and generate $11 billion in a year in GDP to support Australia’s clean hydrogen industry.

“As Australia considers energy alternatives, we know hydrogen is clean and will be cost-competitive – but a major barrier to it becoming a fuel source for cars and trucks is how to refuel, and the lack of refuelling infrastructure,” said Nigel Warren, SCIRO Executive Director.

Swinburne University of Technology’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Pascale Quester said the hub would house a demonstration hydrogen refuelling station with both production and storage facilities, with the aim of expanding the understanding of hydrogen for fuel.

“We are excited by this development and we are grateful to the Victorian Government for its support. The Victorian Hydrogen Hub will be another demonstration of how we can bring people and technology together to create a better world,” Professor Quester said.

“Swinburne’s strong partnership with CSIRO means that we will be able to build on our focus of digitalisation and industry 4.0, and support industry to enhance its understanding of what hydrogen can deliver.”

The refueller project will see a trial fleet of CSIRO hydrogen vehicles provide re-fuelling opportunities to other zero-emission fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) in the local area. Construction of the Victorian Hydrogen Hub is expected to take 18 months.

The funding comes from the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund, which was developed in response to the image of the coronavirus pandemic on Victorian universities.

“We are proud to be investing in this forward-looking initiative, the kind that will help build a smarter Victoria and help respond to climate change, stated Gayle Tierney, Victorian Minister for Higher Education.

CSIRO will engage with vehicle manufacturers and retails such as Toyota Australia to support Australia’s future adoption and supply of FCEVs.

“Toyota Australia is delighted to support the development of this new hydrogen refuelling station in Victoria with next-generation Mirai FCEVs,” said Matt MacLeod, Toyota Australia’s Manager of Future Technologies.

“This is a significant step towards having the necessary refuelling infrastructure to help grow hydrogen opportunities in Australia.”

Sources:

CSIRO | $1 million funding for hydrogen refueller 

Swinburne University of Technology | New Swinburne Hydrogen Hub to advance to net zero emission future

8 February 2021

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