Huge renewable energy export project gets environmental clearance

A mega-project to generate electricity from renewables in the Pilbara region for export has received approval from Western Australia’s Environmental Protection Authority, subject to conditions.

EPA chair Dr Tom Hatton announced that the proposed Asian Renewable Energy Hub comprising onshore wind turbines and solar panels situated about 220 kilometres east of Port Hedland, with a transmission cables to the coast and subsea cables to the edge of state waters has been approved.

“The EPA has completed its assessment of NW Interconnected Power Pty Ltd’s proposal to construct and operate a large-scale renewable energy project with an expected operational lifespan of 50 years.”

The EPA took into account the impact of clearing 11,962 hectares of land, the impact of four undersea cables and fire management in its decision.

NW Interconnected Power is planning a $22 billion investment with green power being sold to customers in Indonesia and Singapore.

The proposal involves the construction of up to 1,743 wind turbines, 2,000 MW of solar panels, above and below ground transmission cables and four subsea power cables, covering an onshore and offshore development envelope of 662,400 hectares.

A final decision on the project will be made by the WA government.

This is the first of a number of renewable mega-projects for export on the drawing board.

Across the border in the Northern Territory a 10,000 MW solar plant and battery storage is being backed by billionaires Mike Cannon-Brookes and Andrew Forrest.

Picture: NW Interconnected Power

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