EnergyAustralia has officially fired up its $300 million Tallawarra B gas plant in the Illawarra - launching New South Wales' first new gas station in a decade. 

The plant, featuring a 320-megawatt turbine developed in partnership with GE Vernova, should be capable of reaching full operational capacity within 30 minutes to help it meet peak energy demand.

The turbine at the Tallawarra B plant, situated alongside the existing Tallawarra A station, is the largest in Australia.

With the new equipment online, EnergyAustralia still faces challenges in fulfilling its green hydrogen ambitions. 

The company had previously announced a target to run the plant on five per cent green hydrogen by 2025, an initiative supported by $5 million from the federal government and $78 million from the New South Wales government. 

However, EnergyAustralia chief executive Mark Collette says the current green hydrogen supply chain is not up to the job. 

“We would like there to be a green hydrogen supply chain by 2025, we know that is not there yet,” he told the ABC.

The Tallawarra B project features solutions to mitigate environmental impacts, including a 54 tonne, $13.5 million disc engineered to disperse gas emissions without affecting nearby Shellharbour Airport. 

“The lid on the top stops the plume going up, the jets are pointed out sideways, where it mixes with other air and that results in a much lower velocity,” says project director Ian Black.

EnergyAustralia says it plans to upgrade the Tallawarra A station, increasing its capacity from 440 to 480 megawatts and incorporating 37 per cent hydrogen. 

“Our ambition is to create enough demand to kick start a hydrogen industry in this region,” Collette said.