Firstgas and Hiringa Energy have their sights set on the development of a green hydrogen economy and today announced a collaboration agreement that will support New Zealand’s objectives to further advance this.
Paul Goodeve, CEO Firstgas Group said, “Both Firstgas Group and Hiringa Energy are committed to helping NZ move towards net zero emissions by 2050, by harnessing the power of green hydrogen and this partnership is a positive step in the right direction.”
Andrew Clennett, CEO Hiringa Energy said, “The agreement will see both companies work together on like-minded projects and I’m excited about what can be achieved by leveraging each other’s capabilities.”
As a key player in the NZ hydrogen industry, Hiringa Energy is well placed to provide advice to Firstgas on matters relating to hydrogen supply and demand. As experts in transporting gas, Firstgas Group is well positioned, via its existing pipeline networks, to integrate Hiringa’s hydrogen into the existing gas stream creating market opportunities and substantially reducing transportation costs.
Hiringa and Firstgas have identified areas of common interest that they are looking to pursue. At a high level these include collaboration on the development of Firstgas’ hydrogen pipeline trial programme and the potential for Firstgas to provide pipeline infrastructure for Hiringa’s Hydrogen refuelling stations.
Mr Clennett said, “There are many advantages to using hydrogen. Storing excess electricity from sustainable sources like wind and solar is one of today’s biggest challenges; hydrogen lets us capture that energy and use it when we need. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles can be filled in minutes and a full hydrogen tank weighs much less than a bank of batteries. This makes them ideal for heavy vehicle transportation and high utilisation fleets.”
Mr Goodeve added, “Hydrogen could also support decarbonisation of our electricity network by allowing excess energy to be stored in the form of hydrogen and then converted back into electricity at peak times or during times when the hydro lakes are low. Hydrogen is also likely to provide a solution for high temperature process heat which is difficult to electrify.”
About Firstgas’ Hydrogen pipeline network trial
Firstgas received a Government PGF grant in 2019 to assess whether hydrogen can be transported via our existing gas pipeline network. The first phase (of a three-phase project) will assess the potential for using hydrogen or blends in different end uses such as heating, transport, power generation and integration with other renewable generation sources. Phase one findings are currently being reviewed and will be released in early 2021.
About Hiringa’s Hydrogen refuelling network project Hiringa has been developing a hydrogen production and refuelling network across New Zealand focused primarily on the heavy vehicle market. Phase 1 of the development includes 8 refuelling stations across the north and south islands, with the first stations online in 2021. Phase 2 includes a further 16 stations introduced by 2025 and; Phase 3 is for over 100 stations by the year 2030.
Photo: Paul Goodeve, First Gas Group CEO, and Andrew Clennett, CEO of Hiringa Energy