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Horizon Power plans to assess the use of hydrogen as part of a new energy solution planned for the town of Denham in Western Australia.

The existing power supply in Denham is a combination of a diesel facility, owned and operated by Horizon Power, and a Synergy wind farm. Both assets are aging and in need of replacement.

Horizon Power is preparing to build a new power solution with solar, wind and diesel to power the town, which has a population of about 500 people.

Denham is the gateway to the Shark Bay World Heritage Area and approximately 100kms from Carnarvon and ten hours from Perth.

Horizon Power is supporting the Western Australian government’s Renewable Hydrogen Strategy by investigating the possibility of demonstrating the use of hydrogen as a future source of energy for the town.

“As part of our commitment to deliver cleaner, greener energy to our regional customers, we want to investigate the potential to develop a hydrogen demonstration plant to test the suitability and capability of hydrogen as a renewable energy source for electricity generation in the future,” Horizon Power Chief Executive Officer, Stephanie Unwin, said.

“Proving the reliability of such a hydrogen plant provides the opportunity to expand the plant to supply the full power requirements for the town in the future.”

A solar farm will generate electricity which will power an electrolyser. The electrolyser splits water into hydrogen and oxygen, with the hydrogen to be stored in a fuel cell. The fuel cell will generate electricity for Denham customers.

The benefit of this “green hydrogen to electricity” supply chain is that the storage of the hydrogen ensures the availability of power 24/7. By comparison, the electricity output from a conventional solar farm is dependent on the sun shining.

Horizon Power has sought expressions of interest for the supply of the hydrogen electrolyser and fuel cell, and to design and construct the plant. If the project is determined to be viable, construction would begin in February 2021

Charlotte Pordage is Editor of Utility magazine, a position she has held since November 2018. She joined the team as an Associate Editor in October 2017, after sharpening her writing and editing skills across a range of print and digital publications. Charlotte graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2011 with joint honours in English and Latin. When she's not putting together Australia's only dedicated utility magazine, she can usually be found riding her horse or curled up with a good book.

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