Toyota to build world-first ‘Tri-Gen’ plant

Toyota will build the first ‘Tri-Gen’ plant – a megawatt-scale hydrogen fuel and renewable generation plant experts hope will pave the way for Australia’s hydrogen industry.

Toyota will build the plant to support its operations at the Port of Long Beach, in the US, using agricultural waste to generate electricity, water and hydrogen.

The Tri-Gen facility will generate approximately 2.35MW of electricity and close to one tonne of hydrogen per day, according to the Sydney Morning Herald – providing enough daily power for more than 2300 homes and 1500 hydrogen-powered cars.

It will come online in 2020, and be used as proof of concept for large-scale hydrogen generation and renewable energy plants.

CSIRO principal research scientist Michael Dolan said the proposed plant was a benchmark for the industry.

“Once someone goes first it paves the way for others, and hopefully this is something Australia can learn from,” Mr Dolan said.

CSIRO recently announced its intention to make Australia a hydrogen fuel world leader, with the organisation investing millions of dollars in R&D using renewables instead of biowaste to generate hydrogen.

South Australia has notably put hydrogen forward as a key element of its new energy strategy.

“Hydrogen offers an opportunity to create a new industry in South Australia where we can export our sun and wind resources to the world,” South Australian Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said.

“Our Hydrogen Roadmap aims to have South Australia at the forefront of hydrogen development in this region within the next decade,” he said.

“Within two years, commuters in Adelaide will be able to ride on the first of a fleet of hydrogen-powered buses using locally produced fuel. Within three years, South Australia will have the capacity to export its first hydrogen supplies produced using our renewable energy assets.”