Whopping wind-solar plan for W Australia gets enviro recommendation
Image by: Green Energy Markets (www.greenmarkets.com.au).
A massive project for a renewable energy hub consisting of numerous wind and solar farms in Western Australia has been recommended for approval by the state’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).
The so-called Asian Renewable Energy Hub, a project proposed by NW Interconnected Power Pty Ltd, will involve the installation of up to 1,743 wind turbines, solar panels, and a power transmission network, including subsea cables, in the Pilbara region.
According to EPA’s statement on Monday, it has recommended the green light for the project, with a set of conditions such as consulting with stakeholders over the scheme’s management plans and undertaking steps for monitoring potential impacts on migratory birds. The agency has sent its report to the Minister for Environment for a final decision.
The report will be open for a two-week public appeal period until May 18.
On the project’s website, the developer says the huge complex will have a capacity of up to 15 GW, coming from onshore wind turbines and solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. Up to 3 GW of this total is to be dedicated to large energy users in the Pilbara region. The large-scale production of green hydrogen, both for domestic and export markets, is also part of the plan.
A final investment decision on the project is expected to be taken in 2025. First power exports will be possible two years after that.
EPA noted that one of the key environmental issues taken into account in the approval process was the proposed clearing of 11,962 ha of native vegetation and its potential impact on fauna, flora and vegetation.
Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.