Green hydrogen production is one of the uses of 26 GW of wind and solar PV capacity to be set up as part of the AREH in Western Australia. Having granted environmental approval for phase I of the project, the state government said renewable energy generated here can also be used for green ammonia and green steel manufacturing. (Photo Credit: ARENA)
- Western Australian government has given its environmental approval for phase I of AREH
- Coming up in Pilbara, the project will comprise 26 GW renewable energy capacity to produce green hydrogen for domestic use and overseas exports
- Under phase I, 10 GW of wind power and 5 GW of solar PV will be built with at least 3 GW reserved for local energy use in Pilbara
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The Asian Renewable Energy hub (AREH) coming up in Pilbara as one of the world’s largest renewable hydrogen projects has moved a step ahead after securing environmental approval from the Western Australian government for phase I, under which 15 GW of wind and solar PV capacity are planned to be set up. The project is designed to eventually expand to 26 GW of wind and solar generation capacity.
Originally conceived to have 9 GW of wind and solar power capacity, the AREH had its solar and wind power capacity scaled up to 11 GW and later to 15 GW (see Wind & Solar Scaled Up To 15 GW For Asian RE Hub).
Under phase I, it is scheduled to produce 15 GW of hybrid energy divided as 10 GW of wind power and 5 GW of solar energy generation.
Out of 26 GW targeted renewable energy production by the project translating into around 100 TWh of annual generation, at least 3 GW will be made available cheaply for energy use within Pilbara. Up to 23 GW are expected to be used to produce green hydrogen and green ammonia for a period of over 50 years.
Clean energy produced by the project should also be used for new and expanded mines, downstream mineral processing, among other uses.
A project of this massive capacity is planned to also support creation of a local supply chain for the manufacturing and assembly of wind and solar power generation equipment.
“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,” said Western Australian Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan. “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.”
The entire project is planned to be spread across 6,500 sq. kms on traditional lands of the native Nyangumarta People. The project development consortium—comprising InterContinental Energy, CWP Energy Asia, Vestas and Pathway Investments—aims to commence construction on the project in 2026 soon after taking the investment decision. First exports are planned to begin from 2027 and 2028.
In September 2020, the state government issued a call for renewable hydrogen producers and consumers to set up projects in Oakajee Strategic Industrial Area near Geraldton expecting 1.25 GW potential for solar PV capacity here (see EOI For Renewable Hydrogen Project In Western Australia).