This week Energys proudly unveiled the first of five cutting-edge Hydrogen Fuel Cell Generators being manufactured for Telstra as part of an alternative energy backup pilot program.
The Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio, whose portfolios include Minister for Climate Action and Minister for Energy and Resources, was on hand to watch a demonstration of the unit in action. The Hon. Lee Tarlamis MP, Member for South-eastern Melbourne, was also in attendance.
The Hydrogen Fuel Cell Generators are designed as a drop-in zero emissions replacement for traditional diesel electric generators, which will inevitably be phased out as the world strives to meet emissions targets.
As part of a co-funded pilot project with Victorian State Government, Telstra will install the units at five sites in outer-regional Victoria with a history of storm-related power blackouts to provide on-demand zero emissions backup power.
“We’re supporting the state’s emerging renewable hydrogen sector to play a key part our transition to 95 per cent renewable energy by 2035.” Said the Hon Lily D’Ambrosio MP.
“This innovative project uses renewable energy to keep the power running during an emergency, helping to maintain vital telecommunications, which is critical as we encounter more frequent extreme weather events.” Said the minister.
The Fuel Cell Generator delivers 10 kilowatts of AC power using hydrogen gas as a fuel source. The hydrogen is passed through the fuel cell, which undergoes an electrochemical reaction, producing electricity. The only by-product of this reaction is pure water vapour, which can be released harmlessly into the environment.
Whilst hydrogen fuel cells have been used in niche applications since the mid 20th century, the abundance of fossil fuels limited their wider commercial adoption. With rising fuel prices and the need to cut emissions, many forward-thinking companies are working to include hydrogen in their future energy roadmap. Telstra’s purchase of an initial five units is a testament to its ongoing commitment to innovation and sustainability.
The Hydrogen Fuel Cell Generator is part of a range of zero-emissions power products designed and manufactured in Victoria, Australia. It is the result of seven years of research and development. What makes this third-generation product a game changer is that it has been designed specifically for large-scale manufacture using Energys’ proprietary engine design. This makes the Energys Hydrogen Fuel Cell Generator arguably the world’s leading mass-producible hydrogen gen-set that is available for purchase by customers now.
“We think this is the best fuel cell generator in the world. It took a lot of vision, innovation and hard work to get us to this point.” Said Dr Roger Knight, Energys Managing Director.
“It’s not just about having the world’s best product, though. You also need a very strong supply chain to deliver it in volume. We have that, and much of it is local. That puts us in a position not just to service Telstra, but other adopters as worldwide demand grows.” He said.
Dr Knight went on to highlight the enormous demand for power products globally.
“The diesel generator market is over US$20 billion per annum.” Said Knight.
“That’s an enormous demand for fossil-fuel-based generators that must be phased out. We look forward to engaging with companies eager to meet their emissions targets with reliable, commercially viable zero emissions products like this one.” He said.
The Energys range of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Generators is now rolling off its production line in Mulgrave, Victoria. The facility is set for further growth in line with market demand and will deliver around 50 megawatts of fuel cell products annually as part of its phase 1 expansion. Energys thanks Telstra for its market leadership in becoming an early adopter of fuel cells and an example for other major organisations to follow.
GREEN HYDROGEN SUPPLY
Telstra will power the Fuel Cell Generators from Green Hydrogen sources, including Energy’s hydrogen production facility, which is already under construction. The location and details of this facility will be announced in the coming weeks.
VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT FUNDING
As part of Victoria’s Renewable Hydrogen Industry Development Plan, the Renewable Hydrogen Commercialisation Pathways Fund provided grant funding for capital works projects that support the building of hydrogen pilots, trials, and demonstrations to kick start Victoria’s renewable hydrogen sector, unlock co-investment and lead the way to commercialisation.
The Victorian government provided a Renewable Hydrogen Commercialisation Pathways Fund grant of $1,115,185 to Telstra for the Telstra Renewable Hydrogen Fuel Cell Generator Pilot at Mobile Sites project. This project will deploy a renewable hydrogen fuel cell generator at regional mobile communication sites. It will remove the reliance on fossil fuel generators and enable renewable hydrogen to support the electricity system and reliability for telecom services in times of high demand.
Energys Australia is also developing a renewable hydrogen production facility that will produce renewable hydrogen via electrolysis. The project will facilitate the uptake of renewable hydrogen, not only for use in the transportation sector but also as an alternative for other ways diesel is currently utilised. ($1m grant for $4m project cost, Energys renewable hydrogen production facility).