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World’s biggest renewable energy hub recommended for the southern coast of Western Australia

An international consortium intends to construct the world’s biggest renewable energy hub along the south coast of Western Australia. The Western Green Energy Hub (WGEH) would extend across 15,000 square kilometers and could create up to 50 gigawatts of energy.

The world’s biggest renewable energy hub – involving an amazing 50 gigawatts of wind and solar capacity – has been proposed for the southern coast of Western Australia to make millions of tonnes of green hydrogen for use in Australia and for sending out.

An international consortium needs to assemble what might be the world’s biggest renewable energy hub in Australia’s south-west to change over wind and solar power into green fuels like hydrogen.

The group of energy organizations reported the proposal over a 15,000 sq km area that could have a 50-gigawatt capacity and cost $100bn.

A region greater than the size of greater Sydney has been distinguished in the southeast of Western Australia with “consistently high levels of wind and solar energy”.

On the off chance that it was made, the hub would create 3.5 million tons of zero-carbon green hydrogen, or 20 million tons of green ammonia every year, for both domestic consumption and export.

The group behind the proposal, including Intercontinental Energy and CWP Global, said the green hydrogen market was required to be worth US$2.5 trillion by 2050.

The project would likewise be related to Mirning Green Energy Limited.

The group said the region was appropriate for wind and solar energy, and the project would deliver huge socio-economic advantages to the local community.

Jobs for future generations

Shire of Esperance President Ian Mickel said he had not been informed of the proposal preceding Tuesday morning’s declaration.

“[The hub] would mean more people in Esperance, more employment opportunities going forward,” Mr. Mickel said.

“We have to get a greater understanding of what’s involved in this and what part we would have to play.”

He said Esperance was home to the country’s first wind farm, which was fabricated 25 years prior.

The consortium said in an explanation the proposal would be innovative, in the scale of green energy produced, as well as in the model of partnership with the Mirning public, who are the traditional proprietors of the land.

Mirning Traditional Lands Aboriginal Corporation chairman and inaugural WGEH board member Trevor Naley said the project would accommodate future generations.

“This partnership through robust governance and a seat at the table for Mirning People will provide opportunities never before available to Indigenous corporations,” Mr. Naley said.

“This representation alongside sustainable financial and substantial social benefits will provide security for future generations.”

Western Australia’s Hydrogen Industry Minister Alannah McTiernan said the “massive proposal” would be a step towards following through on the objectives of the WA Renewable Hydrogen Strategy.

“Our state is perfectly positioned to lead the global renewable hydrogen industry, delivering a strong economic future for WA and becoming a major contributor to global decarbonization,” Ms. McTiernan said.

The scale of the $100 billion project – to be known as the Western Green Energy Hub – is remarkable. It would rank as one of Australia’s biggest-ever projects of any sort, and not far shy of the size of the country’s main grid.

The chief defenders are Australia’s CWP Global and Hong Kong-based Intercontinental Energy, similar parties behind the 26GW Asia Renewable Energy Hub in the Pilbara, which last month had to start environmental approvals dismissed by government environment minister Sussan Ley.

The Western Green Energy Hub would extend more than 15,000 square kilometers from close to the South Australia border out west across the Nullabor towards the mining towns of Kalgoorlie and Boulder and the coastal town of Esperance. It would create up to 3.5 million tons of green hydrogen or 20 million tons of green ammonia annually.

Mirning Green Energy, a completely owned subsidiary of the Mirning Traditional Lands Aboriginal Corp, will have a “meaningful carried equity stake” in the project and a permanent seat on the WGEH consortium board.

“The Western Green Energy Hub is historic on two fronts,” Brendan Hammond, the chairman of the WGEH board, said in a statement on Tuesday.

“First, the scale at which we will be able to deliver green fuels to markets and customers around the world, helping to move us all towards a net-zero future.

“Second, and possibly, more importantly, how we are working with the Mirning People, the original owners of the land, to create a truly long-term and sustainable multi-generational partnership that delivers enormous socio-economic benefits for the community. It is an honor and a privilege to be involved in this groundbreaking project.”

“It’s a truly massive proposal,” said Western Australia’s hydrogen Minister Alannah MacTiernan, who recently reported her desire to see 100GW of green hydrogen projects in the state as the world ready for a major change from fossil fuel gas to green hydrogen and ammonia.

“Right across WA we are seeing renewable hydrogen projects taking their next steps forward -0 from the Kimberley to Esperance,” MacTiernan said in a statement.

“Our State is perfectly positioned to lead the global renewable hydrogen industry, delivering a strong economic future for WA and becoming a major contributor to global decarbonization.”

She said CWP and Intercontinental have gotten a licence from the WA state government to finish site surveys that will be utilized to assemble a business case for the proposed site.

“Green fuels produced at the site will meet massive future demand from multiple sectors, including in co-firing in power generation, the shipping sector, heavy industry such as steel, chemicals, and mining, as well as the aviation sector,” the consortium said in its statement.

The consortium said the region included a strong wind resource, with an average speed of 9 meters each second, and great solar, with around 2,000kWh per square meter of solar irradiation. That converted into an expected capacity factor of around 70%. The last investment decision is expected in 2028.

CWP and Intercontinental anticipate that the green hydrogen sector should turn into a $US2.5 trillion market by 2050. They mean to create both this and the AREH project, as well as a gigantic project in Oman and more to come.

Already in Australia, there are numerous projects of the multi-gigawatt scale proposed by a range of local and international organizations, even though the greatest electrolyzer sent to date in Australia – at Tonsley in Adelaide – is a simple 1MW.

Australia, in any case, is in a race with different nations and mainlands. Various green hydrogen projects are being proposed in Europe and the US, and renewables-rich nations in the Middle East and Central Asia have disclosed gigantic green hydrogen recommendations.

Over the last few weeks, a 45GW proposal has been uncovered in Kazakhstan, while a 25GW proposal has been advanced for Oman, in which Intercontinental is likewise included.

In Australia, iron ore billionaire Andrew Forrest has disclosed his own “mega-plans” for more than 100GW of green hydrogen projects across the world, including 40GW for Australia, and is dealing with his first concrete proposals in Tasmania.

Likewise, in the Northern Territory, Forrest and Mike Cannon-Brookes are funding studies into the Sun Cable venture which would include a 14GW solar farm, a 30GWh battery, and a cable to export green electricity to Singapore and other Asian clients.

CWP and Intercontinental say they are drawn to the Pilbara and Nullabor districts for the richness of both solar and wind power, with a large part of the wind blowing in the evening.

Paul Lingard, the co-head of energy and infrastructure at legal firm Norton Rose Fulbright, said the “stunning” project would be the single biggest energy hub in the world.

“The potential to produce and export 3.5 million tons of zero-carbon green hydrogen also helps confirm Australia’s key role in the global Energy Transition.

“This project will be the first of its kind to work with traditional owners (the Mirning people) not only in the recognition of native title rights and interests and protection of cultural heritage in the development of the project but also through a meaningful carried equity stake and permanent project interest.

“This true partnering with First Nations Land Owners sets the tone for a new model of long-term and sustainable project development.”

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