To make green hydrogen operate, multiple dominoes must fall into place. The first is low-cost energy, and the second is low-cost electrolyzers. Australia has an abundance of sunlight, which may be used to generate electricity. Now, Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) is working on the next jigsaw piece, electrolysers, which will produce hydrogen using an electrolyser designed and produced by the FFI team. They succeeded in creating industrial-grade hydrogen for the first time in their Western Australia plant ten days ago.
“FFI has created a variety of novel electrolyser technologies that will be included in its electrolyser patent family.” The findings of these initiatives will help FFI choose electrolyser technology in the future as it works toward its goal of producing 15 million tonnes of green hydrogen per year by 2030. ‘This is another great success from our FFI in-house scientists and engineers — who are continuing to explore new ground,’ said FFI Chief Executive Officer Julie Shuttleworth. The FFI team has constructed and run our own electrolyzer system, which will be critical in the future development of FFI’s green hydrogen production.”
“This electrolyser was developed, produced, and commissioned internally by a small, devoted team of professionals – an incredible achievement that is emblematic of the hard work that is going across the whole FFI,” FFI Chairman Dr Andrew Forrest AO remarked. “The crew worked on this project for thousands of hours, suffering obstacles along the way, but they persevered and succeeded to manufacture hydrogen before their stretch target date – something they should be quite proud of.”
By the end of 2022, the electrolyser will be producing green hydrogen, thanks to solar panels erected on the roof of FFI’s Dawson Road site near Perth Airport in Western Australia. “The hydrogen was created through a pressurized alkaline system.” The internally created hydrogen gas management system is completely operational and will be utilized to test all FFI prototypes and designs.”
When you combine this accomplishment with Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest’s global negotiations to expand the usage of green hydrogen and his intention to create a gigatonne-scale electrolyzer facility in Queensland, you can see the plan coming together. According to a recent CSIRO analysis, the cost of electrolysers is expected to reduce significantly over the next decade. This is happening right in front of our eyes. Is it just a matter of time until green hydrogen transitions from an expensive side project to the main stream of energy storage?