South Australia, California to Collaborate on Green Hydrogen Development

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The parties will focus on integrating renewable energy into their respective power grids.

South Australia and California have agreed to collaborate on developing clean renewable hydrogen projects to produce green hydrogen and other low and zero carbon fuels.

The letter of cooperation, signed by South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas and California Acting Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, also includes a partnership between Hydrogen Power SA, the California Natural Resources Agency, and the California Energy Commission.

The parties will focus on accelerating the clean energy transition and integrating renewable energy into their respective power grids while exchanging best practices on regulations, policies, and standards.

Moreover, the clean energy deal promotes large-scale renewable energy generation and storage, decarbonization, and electrification of buildings, industry, and transportation, and improved energy efficiency and demand management.

The two states will also explore strategies to shift to low-carbon alternatives of high-emitting industrial processes, nature-based solutions to address climate change, and research and industry partnerships.

Both leaders expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to collaborate on projects that could mitigate the climate crisis and help achieve net-zero emissions goals.

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“With a shared commitment to advancing renewable hydrogen and fostering clean energy solutions, this collaboration is another pivotal step towards a sustainable, clean energy future for generations to come,” Ms. Kounalakis said.

Mr. Malinauskas echoed the Californian Governor’s sentiments by saying the two states have shared values and ambitions to advance clean hydrogen technology.

“It just makes sense that two global leaders in renewable energy like South Australia and California should work together to advance our shared interests in clean energy to advance our states’ economies and the world’s drive towards decarbonisation,” Mr. Malinauskas said.

Currently, both states exhibit a fast pace in the green energy transition. California peaked at 100 percent renewables on 17 days in March, while South Australia had a record wind and solar output of 3,143.3 MW in February.

South Australia is constructing the world’s largest 200 MW hydrogen power plant and electrolyser at Whyalla as part of the State Prosperity Project. The plant, along with a 250 MW hydrogen production facility, aims to produce 3,600 tonnes of hydrogen storage.

The newly established government enterprise Hydrogen Power South Australia will operate the hydrogen power plant.

Meanwhile, the United States Department of Energy invested $1.2 billion to fast-track the development and deployment of clean renewable hydrogen. It appointed California a National Hydrogen Hub and tasked it with building the country’s largest clean hydrogen ecosystem.

The project is part of the $12 billion hydrogen hub led by the Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES).

Both states have yet to address the challenge of delivering the rest of the energy capacity required to achieve 100 percent renewables for longer than just an hour or two a day.

South Australia to Invest $85 Million in Northern Water Desalination Project

In a press conference, Deputy Premier of South Australia Susan Close emphasised the importance of investing in the Northern Water desalination project to ensure sufficient water supply to produce renewable hydrogen and critical minerals.

“Northern Water is intended to be a large desalination plant that will help fuel new green industry, both in the form of critical minerals but also production of hydrogen,” Ms. Close said.

“It’s also a recognition that we can’t keep expecting to get water from the River Murray, nor from the Great Artesian Basin if we’re going to be a truly green state in a truly green country.”

The state government has already committed at least $85 million to support the next stage of evaluating Northern Water to prepare for a decision towards the end of 2026.

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