An Australian developer has unveiled plans to build a 1GW green-hydrogen baseload power plant using H2 derived from 3.5GW of wind and solar capacity.

Infinite Blue Energy (IBE), which describes itself as a green-hydrogen specialist, says that its A$2.7bn ($1.8bn) Project NEO in New South Wales would be powered by 235 “large-scale” wind turbines and an unspecified amount of PV.

The renewable electricity would power electrolysers that split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen, with the H2 stored and then converted back into electricity via fuel cells as required by the grid. The process would ensure that 1GW of output would be available around the clock, enabling the facility to replace existing fossil-fuel power plants on a like-for-like basis.

“By converting the solar and wind energy into green hydrogen, it is possible to provide electricity when there is no wind, a cloudy day or limited to zero sun exposure at night via fuel-cell technology,” the company said.

The project is still at a very early state of development, with a feasibility study and detailed design work due to take place over the next 18 months, and a final completion date set for 2027.

“Project NEO is initially focused on providing 1,000MW, but the concept is scalable, and potentially able to provide a significant proportIon of the region’s electricity requirement,” said the Perth-based company.

Managing director Stephen Gauld added: “We are currently in robust negotiations with major electricity users in the NSW Hunter Region [120-310km north of Sydney] that have confirmed their intentions to transition to green hydrogen baseload electricity this decade.”

IBE has already secured A$300m of funding for its Arrowsmith Hydrogen Project in Western Australia, which will produce 25 tonnes of green hydrogen a day by the end of the final quarter of 2022, powered by about 85MW of solar and 75MW of wind.