Solar-Powered Hydrogen Project to Employ Control/EMS Tech
Yokogawa’s energy management system (EMS) will integrate control and energy management functions at an upcoming renewable hydrogen project in Western Australia.
Yokogawa Electric Corporation, a Japanese electrical engineering giant, recently landed a deal to supply its energy management system (EMS) to an industrial-scale clean hydrogen production facility in Australia.
A preview of the solar panels, battery storage units, and electrolyzer currently under construction next to the Yara Pilbara Fertilizers ammonia plant. Image used courtesy of Engie
Channeled through Yokogawa's Australian subsidiary, the deal will provide the EMS for the Yuri Green Hydrogen Project, part of a joint venture between French utility giant Engie and Japanese general trading company Mitsui & Co. Yokogawa received the order from Monford Group, one of the project’s construction partners. It’s expected to be completed in 2024.
In Western Australia’s Pilbara region, the Yuri site will feature an 18 megawatt (MW) solar power plant, an 8 MW battery energy storage system (BESS), and a 10 MW electrolyzer. The solar-powered facility will churn out up to 640 tons of green hydrogen annually, which will then be used as a feedstock for green ammonia at the nearby Yara Pilbara Fertilizers plant.
Yara Pilbara Fertilizers is one of the world’s largest ammonia production sites, with more than 840,000 metric tons of annual output, equivalent to about 5% of the global market. Renewable hydrogen produced through the new installation will partially offset the hydrogen it currently makes using a steam methane reforming process.
According to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), the total cost of the project is 87.13 million AUD ($55.6 million USD), with 47.5 million AUD ($30.3 million) funded by the Australian government through a conditional grant. The Western Australian government separately supplied another 2 million AUD ($1.27 million). ARENA is ramping up its funding for green hydrogen production, recently receiving 2 billion AUD from the federal budget to underwrite the country’s largest projects.
This rendering shows the solar and battery storage installations and electrolyzer facility in the foreground, adjacent to the ammonia plant. Image used courtesy of Engie
EMS and Control Integration
To control the solar power plant, battery storage system, and electrolyzer, Yokogawa will contribute an EMS developed by PXiSE Energy Solutions, a California-based high-speed control software company that Yokogawa acquired in 2021. Technical details on the specific EMS weren’t disclosed, but Yokogawa touted PXiSE’s longstanding experience in grid control through its distributed energy resources management system (DERMS).
In 2021, PXiSE’s DERMS was deployed in a solar-plus-battery demonstration that used advanced microgrid control technology to power an entire community in Onslow, Australia, for 80 minutes. Horizon Power, a government-owned electricity provider that headed the project, selected the DERMS to manage 34 microgrid projects ranging from 400 kilowatts (kW) to 33 MW across its service area in Western Australia.
Separately, PXiSE markets a DER management and communication platform for utilities, a microgrid controller for coordinating localized DERs, and a renewable power plant controller for front-of-the-meter and utility-scale behind-the-meter clean energy assets.
Yuri’s EMS will be combined with an integrated control system based on Yokogawa’s Collaborative Information (IC) Server, part of a separate contract announced in late 2022. Once integrated, the system will autonomously oversee the renewable energy production according to the ammonia plant’s operating requirements, weather conditions, and other factors.
A diagram of the Collaborative Information Server, an integrated monitoring and operation platform that links to various equipment and systems in a plant. Image used courtesy of Yokogawa Electric Corporation (Page 1)
IC Server supports several communication standards and will provide centralized management by integrating large volumes of data from various equipment units and devices at the hydrogen production plant and the adjacent ammonia facility. According to a technical document on Yokogawa’s website, the platform integrates data collected from distributed control systems, remote monitoring control units, and program logic controllers.