The developers behind plans for a major renewable energy ‘hub’ in Western Australia have expanded their ambitions for the project.
Asian Renewable Energy Hub – backed by a consortium of global energy companies – says that the large-scale clean energy project will reach up to 15 GW in capacity, up from 11 GW.
The energy generated will be used by large-scale energy users in the Pilbara region, with the rest being used for the large-scale production of hydrogen for the domestic and export markets.
The company, whose shareholders include Vestas, Macquarie, Intercontinental Energy and CWP Energy Asia, is aiming to make a final investment decision in 2022/23. They plan to install wind turbines and solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on 6500 km2 of land in the East Pilbara region.
The “outstanding wind and solar resource”, combined with the scale of the project, will result in competitively priced energy, according to the developers. The project will be developed in phases, with construction slated to start in 2023/24.
It will generate up to 50 TWh/year. Up to 3 GW of the total capacity will supply power to large energy consumers in Pilbara, such as new and expanded mines and downstream mineral processing facilities.
The project partners initially targeted a total of 6 GW of capacity for the project in 2017, later expanding it to 9 GW and then 11 GW