Five hydrogen-powered backup generators deployed at regional mobile towers by Telstra & Energys in Australia

Energys and Telstra have officially commissioned five hydrogen-powered backup generators at critical regional mobile phone towers around Victoria. The Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio, Minister for Energy & Resources Victoria, was on hand to inspect the final site, which came online at Neerim North in East Gippsland.

The Hydrogen Fuel Cell Generators, manufactured by Energys at their Mulgrave facility, will provide long-duration zero-emissions power to critical mobile phone towers in case of natural disasters and other unplanned electricity grid outages. Telstra selected the five sites, Neerim North, Chum Creek, Christmas Hills, Coldstream, and Kinglake, due to their vulnerability to electricity grid storm damage and their importance in supporting regional communities during extreme weather events.

I’m thrilled to be here today, standing next to the future. When it comes to the transition away from diesel power, Telstra is showing their leadership by trialling hydrogen,” said Roger Knight.

“We’re thankful for Telstra’s trust in Energys to deliver critical backup power systems that will service these five sites during natural disasters and extended grid outages. It’s a huge endorsement of the reliability and readiness of our Hydrogen Generators.”

The Energys Hydrogen Generator range features commercially ready power products that service the most common applications currently serviced by diesel generators. These include 12kW, 40kW, 125kW and 250kW systems available to customers “off-the-shelf”. These turnkey power products are drop-in zero emissions replacements for traditional diesel electric generators, which will inevitably be phased out as businesses focus more on emissions and rising diesel prices.

The Energys Hydrogen Generator range is designed to international and Australian standards, making it a genuine turn-key alternative to diesel gensets. Energy Safe Victoria has signed off on Type B regulatory compliance for the five Telstra sites and the Energys Hydrogen Generator, operating at Toyota in Altona since 2019. Further systems in Queensland and Western Australia are also in advanced stages of regulatory approval.

Diesel power generators have been the mainstay of backup power and energy resilience since the 1950s. Despite the introduction of battery storage, the critical applications served by refuellable gensets will remain in demand for the foreseeable future. Energys’ range of Hydrogen Generators represents the future of non-diesel-powered small-scale power generation and the only viable pathway to replacing ageing, carbon-emitting diesel generators.

As part of Victoria’s Renewable Hydrogen Industry Development Plan, the Renewable Hydrogen Commercialisation Pathways Fund provided grant funding for capital works projects that support the building of hydrogen pilots, trials, and demonstrations to kick start Victoria’s renewable hydrogen sector, unlock co-investment and lead the way to commercialisation.

The Victorian government provided a Renewable Hydrogen Commercialisation Pathways Fund grant of $1,115,185 to Telstra for the Telstra Renewable Hydrogen Generator Pilot at Mobile Sites project. This project will deploy a renewable hydrogen generator at regional mobile communication sites. It will remove the reliance on fossil fuel generators and enable renewable hydrogen to support the electricity system and reliability for telecom services in times of high demand.

Energys Australia is also developing a renewable hydrogen production facility that will produce renewable hydrogen via electrolysis. The project will facilitate the uptake of renewable hydrogen, not only for use in the transportation sector but also as an alternative to other ways diesel is currently utilised. ($1m grant for $4m project cost, Energys renewable hydrogen production facility)

Engr. Haseeb Ullah

Haseeb covers the global energy market for both conventional and modern energy resources. His expertise is on the global energy supply chain from generation to distribution and end-users. He has a Master degree in Engineering Management and a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering.
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