- FMGL has proposed to develop a 5.4 GW renewable energy hub in Western Australia’s Pilbara region
- The Uaroo Renewable Energy hub will comprise 340 wind turbines, a solar farm and BESS technologies
- FMGL plans to build the facility through Pilbara Energy (Generation) Pty Ltd
Australian iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group Limited (FMGL) has proposed to develop a renewable energy hub with solar, wind and battery energy storage system (BESS) technology with up to 5.4 GW capacity in Western Australia’s Pilbara, to support its local mining operations. In Pilbara, FMGL operates its Chichester, Solomon and Western mining hubs.
The State Government of Western Australia has received the proposal from Pilbara Energy (Generation) Pty Ltd to construct and operate the Uaroo Renewable Energy Hub on the Uaroo and Emu Creek Pastoral Stations. It will be made up of up to 340 wind turbine generators and a solar farm.
The proposal includes building substations, associated supporting infrastructure, tracks and roads, and corridors for electrical cabling, and also includes a disturbance footprint of up to 10,158 hectares (ha) within a development envelope of 61,525 ha.
Published on Western Australia’s Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) website on February 9, 2022, the proposal for the hub is open for public comments for a period of 7 days.
This proposal is aligned with FMGL’s aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, and reduce its net Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions across existing and future operations to ne zero by the same year. Specifically, it aims to supply over 15 million tons of green hydrogen annually by 2030.
Through its Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), FMGL aims to decarbonize its Pilbara operations, and remove the use of fossil fuels, including for stationary power, buses, trucks, drill rigs, locomotives and ships.
FFI has also planned to develop the world’s ‘largest’ electrolyzer, renewable energy and equipment fab in Queensland with an initial capacity of 2 GW per annum (see Plan For ‘Largest’ Green Energy Fab In Australia).
Pilbara is coming up as a major renewable energy hub with several GW level renewable energy projects being announced. In October 2021, Anglo-Australian metals miner Rio Tinto announced plans to develop 1 GW wind and solar power capacity for its Pilbara iron ore mining operations (see Rio Tinto’s $7.5 Billion Decarbonization Plans).
Pilbara is also the location for one of the most ambitious and largest renewable energy projects in the world planned to host 26 GW of wind and solar power capacity, however it has run into trouble after the state Environment Minister Sussan Ley calling this volume ‘clearly unacceptable’ (see 26 GW Wind-Solar Complex In Australia In Trouble).