Macquarie backs giant renewables project

16 October 2018

Macquarie has announced plans to invest in a proposed 11 GW wind and solar energy hub in Australia.

The banking giant says it will provide development capital for the Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH), an ambitious A$22 billion project that could provide energy for Indonesia as well as large-scale mining and hydrogen projects in Australia. Macquarie will also join the project consortium alongside Intercontinental Energy, Vestas and CWP Energy Asia, AREH said in a statement.

The project will be built in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. It will consist of 7.5 GW of wind energy and 3.5 GW of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity.

AREH Director Alex Tancock said: “The Asian Renewable Energy Hub will supply large scale, low cost, clean energy to enable customers in the Pilbara to grow, unlocking billions of dollars of investment potential throughout the region. We are excited to have Macquarie Group joining as a consortium member.”

The project was originally proposed as a 6 GW facility, but increases in wind turbine sizes and capacities enabled developers to revise plans to 9 GW. AREH said that it had increased the project’s output to 11 GW to cover new and existing energy users in the Pilbara “including mines, mineral processing and anticipated large scale production of green hydrogen”.

“Producing renewable energy in the region would boost the business competitiveness of the Pilbara by significantly lowering the cost of energy to accelerate the rate of development in not only mining, but other emerging industries.”

Financial close of the first phase of the hub is anticipated for 2021.

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