Renewable energy company Hybrid Systems Australia has signed an agreement with Charles Darwin University (CDU) to deliver the Northern Territory’s first hydrogen energy storage system.

The company, a subsidiary of Pacific Energy Group, will deliver the pilot 5kW fuel cell with 8kWh of hydrogen storage system that will be used by the Darwin-based university’s students and researchers as a technology development project to develop and commercialise the use of hydrogen as an energy source.

CDU’s Energy and Resources Institute (ERI) will operate the generator and hydrogen storage system for industry partners, students and researchers.

ERI director Professor Suresh Thennadil says a green hydrogen future in the Northern Territory will require comprehensive research and evaluation, and the ability to train a workforce with skills to sustain a hydrogen industry.

“There is a lot of work to do for the Northern Territory to become a hydrogen producer for a global energy market that is investing heavily in alternative fuels,” he says.

“ERI, with its REMHART grid systems hub, is perfectly placed to help drive this renewable energy industry by bringing dedicated researchers and industry together.”

Professor Thennadil says funding from the Federal Government enables CDU to develop a world-class grid testing facility, and the hydrogen electrolyser and fuel cell system that will be housed there will expand its capabilities in renewable energy systems.

Hybrid Systems executive director Mike Hall says the system will create hydrogen fuel from fresh water to be stored at the test facility.

“We are delighted to work with CDU to adapt our proven and reliable SPS [standalone power system] product for researchers to test the capability of creating renewable hydrogen and integrating electrolysers and fuel cells into the grid,” he says.

This project announcement supports the Northern Territory Government’s directive to invest in international-scale renewable hydrogen technology as part of the Northern Territory Renewable Hydrogen Strategy.