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New Energies hydrogen servo for Geelong

Australian Renewable Energy Agency to support of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles in heavy fleets at the Viva Energy-operated New Energies Service Station

An artist’s impression of the New Energies Service Station in Geelong

The Federal Government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced that it will provide funding to the tune $22.8 million to Viva Energy Group Limited (Viva Energy) to develop, build and operate the New Energies Service Station located in Geelong, Victoria, to support the uptake of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) in heavy fleets.

ARENA states that the project will be built opposite Viva Energy’s petroleum refinery and incorporate a 2mW electrolyser along with hydrogen compression, storage and dispensing infrastructure. The service station will also include 150kW electric vehicle (EV) charging facilities.

ARENA says the funding will go towards both the renewable hydrogen and EV infrastructure, as well as to subsidise the purchase and operations of 15 hydrogen FCEVs to help fast-track FCEV uptake. ARENA funding for the FCEVs will be paid upon the delivery of the vehicles.

Viva Energy’s $43.3 million project will allow for the procurement, delivery and operation of the hydrogen FCEVs to utilise renewable hydrogen from the New Energies Service Station.

Viva Energy hopes to add traditional diesel refuelling on-site over time to allow drivers to witness FCEV charging.

ARENA points out that all vehicles will be purchased and owned by project partners. Toll Group, ComfortDelGro Corporation Australia, Cleanaway and Barwon Water are said to have made a commitment to purchase hydrogen FCEVs for their fleets which include prime movers, wastewater and municipal waste collection vehicles and buses.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller

The location of the project adjacent to Viva Energy’s Geelong refinery is said to provide a number of benefits including a high level of visibility due to its proximity to major arterial roads and being within an existing industrial area, as well as access to high voltage infrastructure and access to recycled water from the nearby Barwon Water recycling plant for production of hydrogen.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller says the project will help to accelerate the commercialisation pathways for FCEV fleets in Australia.

“We’re excited to be working with Viva Energy to build Australia’s first publicly available hydrogen refuelling station to independent fleets.

“The experiences of Viva Energy and fleet vehicles using the renewable hydrogen produced onsite for refuelling will provide valuable insights into the operation of different types of hydrogen FCEV heavy vehicles,” Miller says.

“This project will be a key opportunity for early uptake of commercially viable hydrogen and a service station model that could be replicated across Australia as the price of electrolyser technology drops.”


RELATED ARTICLE: Hyzon hydrogen truck headed to Townsville company


Viva Energy CEO Scott Wyatt says the funding from ARENA has opened the door for Viva Energy to work with long-term customers to demonstrate the important role that hydrogen will play in the future of transportation in Australia.

“This project puts hydrogen-powered vehicles on the road to prove their value in day-to-day commercial operations while reducing the carbon footprint of the heavy vehicle transport we rely on every day,” Wyatt says.

ARENA points to its previous funding of light vehicle hydrogen FCEV projects with Toyota to build refuelling infrastructure at their repurposed Altona car manufacturing site to support passenger vehicles and forklifts, as well as BOC who will install a hydrogen refuelling station in Brisbane for passenger fleets.

ARENA says it is also supporting Ark Energy to deploy five FCEV prime movers operating between its zinc refinery and the Port of Townsville.

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