Sydney Water studying hydrogen generator

Sydney Water along with construction partner, John Holland, is conducting a 28-day trial of a revolutionary hydrogen generator.

Sydney Water along with construction partner, John Holland, is conducting a 28-day trial of a revolutionary hydrogen generator. It will help power the construction of the $1.2 billion-dollar Upper South Creek Advanced Water Recycling Centre at Kemp Creek (AWRC).

The facility will service the Western Sydney Aerotropolis growth area and parts of the Camden, Penrith and Liverpool LGAs and help cater for growth until 2056.

The utilisation of a 100 kVA hydrogen generator in place of a traditional diesel-powered generator for a working year would eliminate 152 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions being released into our atmosphere. Transitioning to clean emitting Hydrogen Generators is equivalent to taking 50 cars off Australian Roads every year.

If the trial is successful, the transition of Sydney Water’s construction projects to hydrogen-powered machinery is another step towards significantly reducing the carbon footprint typically associated with large-scale infrastructure construction.

Sydney Water’s ambition is to achieve Net Zero Carbon emissions in its operations by 2030, and Net Zero Carbon emissions in our supply chain by 2040.

Hydrogen generator encourages pilot program

The GEH2 Hydrogen generator utilises a hydrogen fuel cell and a lithium-ion iron phosphate battery and has the equivalent power of a diesel generator. The 100kVA hydrogen generator can power over 70 homes at any one time.

It can be used on-site to power cranes, and other heavy equipment. The carbon-neutral gas is produced in Australia and emits water vapour as a by-product.

There are significant benefits of using a hydrogen generator over diesel. Hydrogen is considered a clean energy source. It doesn’t produce harmful greenhouse gases or pollutants when burned. As such, hydrogen is an environmentally friendly alternative to diesel which currently powers generators and machinery at most construction sites.

Noise reduction is another major advantage, with hydrogen-powered equipment being quieter than its diesel counterparts. This is especially advantageous for construction projects in noise-sensitive areas, such as urban environments or near residential neighbourhoods.

Innovative project could create new future

Sydney Water Environment & Sustainability Manager, Major Projects, Gill Fowler, says hydrogen power could be a viable alternative for the future.

“The adoption of hydrogen technology positions Sydney Water at the forefront of innovation in the industry. It will potentially attract future partnerships, and investment opportunities that align with our clean energy goals,” says Ms Fowler.

John Holland General Manager Infrastructure, Steve Tolley, says hydrogen generators are a step in the right direction.

“This revolutionary trial puts us at the cutting edge of innovation and sustainability as we build one of the Southern Hemisphere’s most advanced water recycling facilities,” Tolley says. “Hydrogen technology is a gamechanger. It has incredible potential to reduce emissions and noise pollution whilst reducing our industry’s carbon footprint.”

Sydney Water and John Holland’s trial of hydrogen generators is set to conclude in late September.

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