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NSW Climate and Energy Action

Developing hydrogen hubs for NSW FAQs

About hydrogen hubs

What are hydrogen hubs?

Hydrogen hubs are regions where various users of hydrogen across industrial, transport and energy markets are co-located.

Hubs help to minimise the cost of infrastructure, and support economies of scale in producing and delivering hydrogen to customers.

Hubs also facilitate opportunities for sectors to innovate and collaborate, while developing the workforce and skills needed to support a future hydrogen industry.

What impact will hydrogen hubs have on NSW?

Hydrogen hubs will help NSW shift to a low carbon economy. This supports the Government’s plan to cut emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050.

Developing hydrogen hubs will benefit NSW by:

  • reducing supply chain costs and making hydrogen commercially competitive with existing fuels
  • unlocking a green hydrogen industry to transform our regional economies and prepare NSW for the future as global markets decarbonise
  • creating new jobs, improving energy security and providing businesses with more choices to increase revenue while reducing emissions.

Applying as a project

What is the application process for the projects stream?

The application process for the projects stream is a two stage competitive process:

  1. Stage 1: expression of interest (EOI). This stage closed on 11 February 2022.
  2. Stage 2: full application. This stage closed on 12 August 2022, and 10 projects are currently being assessed. Read more about these projects.

Section 5 of the guidelines provides more details on both stages.

Will eligibility and merit criteria be assessed during the EOI and full application stages?

Yes. Eligibility and merit criteria will be assessed during both stages.

EOIs were assessed against the eligibility criteria to determine the eligible applications. Full applications are being assessed against the merit criteria.

Can I be awarded more than one grant?

Yes. Grant funding can be awarded to different projects submitted by the same applicant.

Am I still eligible if I’ve already received a grant from another funding body?

Yes. Applicants can apply to receive funding from other government entities, such as the Commonwealth Government’s Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

Where possible, we have aimed to streamline the hydrogen hubs application process with the relevant government entities. If you have applied for funding from another government entity, and would like this to be considered in your hydrogen hubs application, you must:

  • have applied to the other government entity before the hydrogen hub initiative full application submission deadline on 12 August 2022 at 5pm (AEST)
  • have consented to the full application and associated information being shared with the other government entity.

Section 4.2 of the guidelines provides more information on joint funding opportunities.

When will the grant funding be awarded?

We aim to award grant funding by the end of 2022.

How will grant funding be distributed for successful projects?

Payment of grant funding is based on project milestones that must be verified. As part of the application process, applicants are required to provide 4 or 5 suggested milestones and associated grant funding payment amounts that will occur when each milestone is completed.

Grant funding payments should at least be matched by applicant contributions to eligible expenditure within the milestone period.

Section 8.1 of the guidelines provides more information on eligible expenditure. Applicants must demonstrate the project requires the requested amount of grant funding to proceed.

Section 4 of the guidelines provides more details about grant funding support.

When does the grant funding have to be used by?

As outlined in section 2.3 of the guidelines, we will prioritise projects that are fully operational and have used all grant funding received by June 2025.

Project variations and delays

What happens if there are material changes to my original project specifications?

To ensure the competitive application process is fair, we won’t accept any material changes to the original project specifications between lodgement of the EOI application and financial close.

The office will determine, at its discretion, whether your changes are material in nature. If a material change occurs, we reserve the right to determine if the changes are acceptable and support the initiative objectives.

Section 7.2 of the guidelines provides more information on material changes.

What if my project is delayed and I don’t meet the agreed delivery schedule in my funding agreement?

Unexpected events may arise which can impact on your project’s progress, such as delays in equipment delivery. You should make sure your project milestones are as realistic as possible and include contingencies.

You should also familiarise yourself with the funding agreement template available on our website. This template includes obligations for reporting on your project’s progress. It also provisions for the termination of the contract and repayment of the office grant funding if delays cause you to be in breach of the contract.

What happens if the project budget and request for grant funding changes due to new information?

To ensure the competitive application process is fair, we won’t accept any material changes to the original project specifications between lodgement of the EOI application and financial close.

Section 7.2 of the guidelines states that a material change may include, but is not limited to, an increase in the size of grant requests greater than 10% of the grant request at the EOI stage.

The office may, at its discretion, determine it is appropriate to allow an increase in the amount of an applicant’s request for grant funding. The office may exercise discretion in this regard if it is considered to represent value for money and is in line with the Initiative objectives. This would be subject to the applicant meeting any conditions imposed in an offer to negotiate letter.

Section 7.2 of the guidelines provides more information on material changes.

Registering as a hydrogen consumer

Who can register as a hydrogen consumer?

We are seeking registrations of interest from existing or potential hydrogen consumers. Hydrogen consumers are defined as those who are ready to purchase hydrogen from the hubs now or at some point in the future. For example, if enabling technology becomes available and cost effective.

Section 2.2.2 of the guidelines provides more information on registering as a hydrogen consumer.

Why should I register as a hydrogen consumer?

Registering as a hydrogen consumer may enable you to be included as one of the end users in a project. This may allow you access to the project’s supply chains. If the project is successful, you may also have access to grant funding to support your consumption.

Registering will also enable potential suppliers outside of the hydrogen hub initiative to contact you to discuss how they could supply you with hydrogen to meet your requirements.

How do I register as a hydrogen consumer?

You can register as a hydrogen consumer online via our registration portal.

When you register, please provide details of your potential hydrogen demand, including quantity, relevant timeframes and price requirements.

You must agree to this information being shared publicly on our website and through our collaboration platform.

How do I receive funding if I register as a hydrogen consumer?

There is no grant funding available for the hydrogen consumer registrations stream. Hydrogen consumers can only access grant funding if they join a green hydrogen project and are part of a full application that is successful.

Once I am registered as a hydrogen consumer, is there a limit to how many projects I can join?

There is no limit to how many projects a hydrogen consumer can join for the full application stage.

The level of commitment and engagement of a project’s offtakes, including hydrogen consumers, will be evaluated during the merit assessment process.

Proponents of green hydrogen deployment projects are responsible for incorporating offtake from hydrogen consumers into their project. If a hydrogen consumer joins a project that isn’t successful at the full application stage, they may be able to negotiate directly with successful applicants for the supply of hydrogen. This is subject to any contractual arrangements that are in place.

If a hydrogen consumer is part of multiple successful projects, they will need to consider any committed contractual obligations.

When do registrations close?

Hydrogen consumer registrations will be open for the whole application and assessment period of the projects stream. 

Privacy and confidentiality

My application and registration will include personal information. How does the office manage this information?

The office has legal obligations under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW) in relation to the collection, storage, access, use and disclosure of personal information.

If collecting your personal information, the office will provide you with a privacy statement at the time of collection that details how this information will be managed in accordance with privacy law.

Those registering for the hydrogen consumer stream, must agree to the information in their registration being shared publicly.

My application will contain commercially sensitive information. Will this be kept confidential?

In your application, you must identify what information is commercial-in-confidence and to be treated confidentially.

Section 7.7 of the guidelines provides more information on how the office will treat commercial-in-confidence information, and the circumstances in which it may be disclosed to third parties.

Further information

Read our guidelines for more information or visit our website.

Have a question?

If you have any questions about the hydrogen hubs initiative or application process, please contact the NSW hydrogen team at hydrogen@planning.nsw.gov.au.