An international consortium has proposed to build the world's biggest renewable energy hub in Western Australia. The proposal includes spending $100 billion on developing a site close to 6,000 mi2 (15,000 m2) that will generate over 50 GigaWatts (GW) of energy in the form of hydrogen and ammonia using solar and wind energy.
The projected capacity of the hub is close to the current power generation capacity of 54 GW which is powered by coal, gas, and renewable energy. Named the Western Green Energy Hub (WGEB), the consortium consists of InterContinental Energy, CWP Global, and Mirning Green Energy Limited. The last company is a subsidiary of the Mirning Traditional Lands Aboriginal Corp and has a permanent seat on the WGEH board.
"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," said Brendan Hammond, chairman of the WGEH board.
In a statement, the consortium said that it plans to work in three phases and produce up to three and a half million tonnes of green hydrogen or 20 million tonnes of green ammonia each year. The produced hydrogen and ammonia will be used in power stations, heavy industries, and aviation. The consortium will also construct an off-shore facility to transfer fuel onto ships following production that is likely to begin by 2030. The hub plans to generate over 30 GW of power through wind, while the rest will be generated using solar energy.
The proposal comes closely after the ministry of environment rejected a similar but smaller proposal last month, citing harm to wetlands and a threat to bird species. It is important to note that two out of three members of this consortium, InternContinental Energy and CWP Global, were part of the team that had submitted the earlier proposal.
If approved, this proposal will leave behind the 45 GW renewable energy project announced to be built in Kazakhistan by a German company, Svevind Energy, which is currently the biggest project in the segment.