First solar hydrogen project strikes offtake deal, to nearly double solar farm

A green hydrogen project that promises to be one of the first in Australia to produce the renewable fuel at a commercial scale has signed up its first offtake partner and is on track to begin operations at the end of 2024.

Infinite Green Energy says its plans to use the 11MW Northam solar farm, east of Perth, to produce up to four tonnes a day of renewable hydrogen via electrolysis are powering ahead after the company completed its acquisition of the PV project this week.

The Perth-based company behind the massive Arrowsmith renewable hydrogen project – also proposed for WA – bought the Northam solar farm from joint owners Indigenous Business Australia and Bookitja, a part of Noongar Property Holdings.

IGE says the completion of the $8 million Northam deal, funded by debt and investor capital, will be followed up immediately with a $3 million capital raising, to fund production capacity of the hydrogen project, dubbed MEG HP1.

The company, chaired by former Woodside CEO Peter Coleman, says the capital raising will allow it to progress the Northam project to final investment decision, including plans to expand the solar farm’s capacity to 18MW and connect a 10MW electrolyser.

The capital raising, via the issue of 1.5 million new ordinary shares at $A2, will also help progress the pathway towards planned production of the company’s flagship, 23 tonne/day Arrowsmith project.

IGE says the Northam project’s hydrogen output will initially power fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) truck fleets for several key “back to base” customers, with the first binding supply agreement signed on Wednesday with a local WA waste to energy refuge collection company.

“We have our first contracted customer and six MOUs from other transport companies in Western Australia,” said the company’s founding CEO Stephen Gauld, on Thursday.

Gauld says IGE will promote the hydrogen ecosystem in WA by supplying contracted customers and local fuel stations with green hydrogen, which is expected to drive fuel cell vehicle demand in the local heavy transport industry.

In the meantime, IGE will draw revenue from Northam solar farm’s existing power purchase agreement (PPA), a deal to supply PepsiCo Australia with green power via French renewables giant, Engie – sealed in December 2021.

“With the security of a PPA in place, our clear path to initial production in 2024 will demonstrate the plant and help to initiate a market for green hydrogen in the commercial mobility sector in Western Australia,” says Coleman.

“This completed acquisition of Northam will see the business producing at scale in an Australian first and cement IGE as the first and biggest commercial producer of green hydrogen.”

Credit: Sophie Vorrath |