The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced funding for Toyota Motor Corporation Australia Limited to start the transformation of part of its decommissioned car manufacturing plant in Altona Victoria into a renewable energy hub to produce green hydrogen for transport. The $7.4 million Toyota Australia Hydrogen Centre is part of a larger transformation planned for the former car manufacturing site.
On behalf of the Australian Government, ARENA will provide $3.1 million towards the Toyota Australia Hydrogen Centre project. The Hydrogen Centre will include solar PV and battery storage to cover the incremental energy requirements for the production of renewable hydrogen through electrolysis and utilization for both mobile and stationary applications. The project will aim to demonstrate an end-to-end process for the hydrogen creation chain; from producing hydrogen through electrolysis to the compression and storage of hydrogen and electricity generation via hydrogen fuel cells.
The Hydrogen Centre will also include an education centre and Victoria’s first commercial scale hydrogen refueling station infrastructure on site to allow the refueling of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The project will produce at least 60 kg of hydrogen per day with on-site solar PV and battery storage to contribute to the incremental energy requirements of the whole site.
ARENA CEO Darren Miller said Toyota’s Hydrogen Centre would demonstrate hydrogen as a viable fuel source for transport and as an energy storage medium. “Toyota is helping to pave the way for more renewably powered vehicles in Australia, where the uptake of electric vehicles has been slower than other countries. The demonstration of low cost hydrogen production and distribution is key to the uptake of hydrogen-powered electric vehicles in areas such as truck, bus and government fleets,” he said.
Toyota Australia’s President and CEO Matt Callachor said the Hydrogen Centre was a step towards the company meeting its target of zero emissions from sites and vehicles by 2050. “This is a very exciting time for Toyota Australia. Today’s announcement with ARENA aligns with our global drive to promote sustainable mobility and to play a leading role in the transition to a decarbonized future. Right now, the biggest factor to the success of hydrogen being widely available is a lack of infrastructure. The sooner we move to a zero emission society the better, and Toyota is committed to making this a reality,” he added.