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Environmental approval granted for Asian Renewable Energy Hub

The Victorian Government has released new planning guidelines for large scale solar farms to inform decision makers, developers and communities.

The Western Australian Government has granted environmental approval for the Asian Renewable Energy Hub, which is set to create up to 5000 direct construction jobs.

The 15-gigawatt hub is a large-scale wind and solar hybrid energy project near Port Headland. It is set to be one of the world’s largest renewable hydrogen projects, which will eventually expand to 26 gigawatts of renewable wind and solar generation for industries in the Pilbara and provide markets in Asia with green hydrogen and ammonia.

The proponent estimates up to 5000 direct construction jobs will be created during the 10-year project construction period, with 3000 direct jobs created for the 50-plus year operational period.

Plans for the first stage of the project include 10 gigawatts of wind generation and five gigawatts of solar generation.

At least three gigawatts of the power generated is expected to be made available cheaply for Pilbara users.

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The scale of the project will enable the creation of new supply chain facilities for the manufacturing and assembly of equipment for wind and solar generation and for hydrogen production.

Cheap, clean energy can also be used to support new and expanded mines, downstream mineral processing, and large scale production of green hydrogen products for domestic and export markets.

Most of the project infrastructure is in the Shire of East Pilbara, with an infrastructure corridor proposed to pass through the Shire of Broome to the coast to provide an offshore export terminal.

WA Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the Asian Renewable Energy Hub could transform the Pilbara, create thousands of jobs and be a major contributor to global efforts to decarbonise the economy.

“The project partners have extensive experience developing wind and solar farms globally, and today’s environmental approval is a major step forward,” she said.

“This development will demonstrate Western Australia’s credentials as a world-class investment destination for green energy generation, including the production of exportable commodities, like green hydrogen and ammonia, and green steel manufacturing.

“It will put Western Australia on the map as a major contributor to lowering global carbon emissions.”

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