Landmark water supply agreement brings renewable hydrogen project step closer

A renewable hydrogen project near Waroona is on the pathway to production following the signing of a major, 15-year water supply agreement with Water Corporation.
  • 15-year water supply agreement to one of the first, low-cost renewable hydrogen projects in Australia
  • WA-based Frontier Energy's Bristol Springs Project is located near Waroona
  • Renewable hydrogen is produced from electrolysis powered by renewable electricity

A renewable hydrogen project near Waroona is on the pathway to production following the signing of a major, 15-year water supply agreement with Water Corporation.

Western Australia-based Frontier Energy's Bristol Springs Green Hydrogen Project is expected to be one of the first, low-cost renewable hydrogen projects in Australia. Production is expected to commence in 2025 with Stage One production forecast at approximately 4.4 million kilograms of renewable hydrogen each year, with the potential to expand significantly as demand for renewable hydrogen continues to grow.

Water is an essential component of renewable, or green, hydrogen - where water is split into hydrogen and oxygen via electrolysis using renewable electricity.

The electrolysers for the first stage of the Bristol Springs Project will be powered by Frontier Energy's 114MW industrial solar farm with any excess renewable energy sold into the grid.

Supporting the McGowan Government's pipeline of hydrogen investment, the 15-year agreement is Water Corporation's first contracted commercial supply to a renewable hydrogen facility. Supply will be from existing scheme capacity with future increases to support the project's expansion.

The Bristol Springs Project is expected to create around 300 new jobs during construction and around 50 additional positions during production.

Uses for renewable hydrogen include transport, industrial feedstock, electricity generation, and blending into the natural gas supply.

In total, the McGowan Government has committed $162.5 million to support the development of the renewable hydrogen industry in Western Australia following the release of the Renewable Hydrogen Strategy in 2019.

Comments attributed to Water Minister Simone McGurk:

"Comprising two parts hydrogen, water is essential for renewable hydrogen production and Water Corporation's long-term supply agreement with Frontier Energy is a win-win, and an important milestone in developing the renewable hydrogen industry in WA.

"In one of the most climate-impacted regions on earth, renewable hydrogen will help decarbonise WA and support a strong, resilient, and diversified economy.

"I commend Water Corporation for supporting what is expected to be one of the first, low-cost commercial renewable hydrogen projects in Australia."

Comments attributed to Hydrogen Industry Minister Roger Cook:

"The Bristol Springs Project is a fantastic example of a WA firm leading the way to becoming one of the lowest cost producers of Australian-made renewable hydrogen.

"The McGowan Government is committed to assisting such emerging hydrogen production projects, as we work to establish WA as a significant producer, exporter and user of renewable hydrogen.

"Renewable hydrogen will be critical for hard-to-abate sectors, such as industrial processing and transport, to reduce their emissions and help the State achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050."

Minister's offices:

Water Minister's office - 6552 6600

Hydrogen Minister's office - 6552 6500

Renewable hydrogen fact file

  • Renewable, or green, hydrogen is the production of hydrogen using renewable electricity, such as wind or solar power;
  • Production process uses electrolysis, where a strong electrical current splits the water molecules into their two constituent elements: hydrogen and oxygen;
  • Powering the electrolysers with renewable electricity means no greenhouse gases are emitted in the production of renewable hydrogen;
  • As a fuel, hydrogen produces no carbon emissions, only water;
  • Hydrogen can be used:
  • to blend with (or replace) natural gas for homes, industry and cooking;
  • for fuel cells to generate electricity to power cars, trucks, buses and trains;
  • to store energy and generate electricity for mining sites and remote communities;
  • as an industrial chemical feedstock for products such as ammonia, fertiliser and iron; and
  • to trade clean energy with other countries; and
  • Hydrogen is assigned different colours based on the source it was produced from and the process used to separate it. As well as green (renewables or wind), some of the other colours include: grey (fossil fuels), blue (fossil fuels with carbon capture), pink (nuclear), yellow (solar only) and turquoise (methane pyrolysis).

Source (partial): Growing Australia's hydrogen industry, Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (12 December 2022)