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NT commencing renewable hydrogen trial

The Northern Territory government believes that investing in renewables will deliver clean, affordable and reliable energy, which is why it has thrown its support behind a new renewable hydrogen project trial being conducted in Tennant Creek.

In a joint venture, Australian companies Axcentium and Ahurei are trialling Aqua Aerem, new technology that captures water from the atmosphere in arid environments. The trial, set to begin shortly in Tennant Creek, NT, is a step towards an off-grid renewable hydrogen project.

The Aqua Aerem technology is an innovative approach to securing a sustainable water supply, which is essential in the development of renewable hydrogen. It is particularly valuable in arid areas.

The trial, which runs for 12 weeks, will collect local production data to further optimise the water capture process.

The Northern Territory Government has expressed support of the trial, saying that it is keen to champion investment in renewable hydrogen as part of the Territory’s transition to renewables.

“In 2020, the Northern Territory government launched the Territory’s first ever renewable hydrogen strategy, bringing the NT to the forefront of the developing renewable hydrogen industry with large areas of land with high solar irradiance, [and] close proximity to export markets,” Minister for Renewables and Energy Eva Lawler said.

“As renewable hydrogen technologies are continuously evolving, having innovative trials like this one in the Territory will be essential to ensure the Territory remains at the forefront of the renewable hydrogen industry.”

The Northern Territory has a competitive advantage when it comes to hydrogen strategy, which will be leveraged to make it a centre of hydrogen technology research, production and use in Australia.

“Aqua Aerem's patented water capture technology demonstrated today when combined with electrolysers has the potential to allow the Northern Territory to realise it’s 2050 carbon emission targets through the use of green hydrogen, whilst creating a future lucrative export market in renewable energy,” said Gerard Reiter, co-founder of Aqua Aerem.

“In Australia and abroad, Aqua Aerem is seeking to provide water to drought-affected and water-stressed communities, and future developments are targeted at remote mining and agricultural applications.”

This trial is the first stage of a pilot renewable hydrogen project that will ultimately produce renewable hydrogen for Territory Generation’s Tennant Creek Power Station to generate green energy as part of the electricity mix for the Tennant Creek community.

Tennant Creek was chosen as a trial site due to its high solar irradiance, making it an excellent location for renewable hydrogen production.

As part of its investment into a number of renewable products, including the procurement of the Darwin to Katherine 35MW Big Battery, the release of the draft Electricity Market Priority Reform papers, Suncable project and its Home and Business Battery Scheme, the Northern Territory Government said it supports the venture wholeheartedly.

“The Aqua Aerem renewable hydrogen project supports the Territory government’s vision to achieve zero net emissions by 2050,” Lawler said.

“We are building a strong and diverse economy and there are significant opportunities for clean energy production and use.”