Optimal Installing Australia's First 100% Hydrogen Capstone Microturbine

Optimal is very excited to announce the award of a contract from Jemena for the first 100% hydrogen Capstone C65 Microturbine in Australia for  Jemena’s Western Sydney Green Gas Project.  Craig Dugan, Optimal Group Australia’s CEO said, “This turbine will be the first Capstone Microturbine in Australia running on 100% hydrogen. It demonstrates another way in which hydrogen is going to revolutionise energy markets Worldwide.”  

In this case the projects solar array can direct surplus electricity to an electrolyser and therefore produce hydrogen which effectively stores this electricity. The microturbine provides the opportunity to convert this stored hydrogen rapidly to meet surges in electrical demand or mitigate high peak network prices. Alternatively, the hydrogen can be injected into the natural gas network and sold as green gas. 

The stored hydrogen could also be used in service stations to power Capstone turbine to provide fast charge for electric vehicles. “We’re really excited about this project. We think hydrogen has great potential not only to help green the natural gas networks but also for customers who have large onsite thermal requirements who also want to reduce their carbon emissions.”  

The use of hydrogen enables them to take any excess electricity that they may have from an onsite solar system that they can’t use, convert it to hydrogen and then use it to blend into their fuel for onsite power cogeneration. This can be further enhanced if the customer has a wastewater system and anaerobic digester to make biomethane.  “Then, we can blend hydrogen with the biomethane to further reduce their carbon emissions. 

Potentially, if you have enough biomethane and hydrogen the customer could meet all of their thermal requirements with renewable gas” added Craig. Jemena’s Western Sydney Green Gas Project is an ARENA supported Power to Gas (P2G) project which will demonstrate the injection and blending of renewable hydrogen into the Jemena Gas Network (JGN) in New South Wales. JGN is the largest natural gas network in Australia, with more than 1.4 million customers.  

The demonstration will focus on addressing the technical, regulatory, environmental and economic barriers to the production and use of hydrogen with the view to supplying ‘green gas’ to Sydney homes and businesses in as little as five years.