NW Interconnected Power Pty Ltd (the Proponent) is seeking to revise its approved proposal to develop the Asian Renewable Energy Hub.
The proposal was previously referred under section 38 of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (EP Act), assessed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) at the level of Public Environmental Review (PER) (NW Interconnected Power 2019), and subsequently approved by the Western Australian Minister for Environment in October 2020.
This referral is for proposed revisions to the approved proposal that the proponent believes represent significant changes. The revised proposal is similar to the original proposal, in that it remains as the construction and operation of a large-scale wind and solar hybrid renewable energy project for the export of clean energy, at the same site as the original proposal; approximately 220 km east of Port Hedland and 270 km southwest of Broome, in the northwest of Western Australia.
Key revisions include:
addition of downstream processing facilities utilising seawater and renewable power to produce green hydrogen and ammonia as stored renewable energy, replacing the transmission of power to Southeast Asia in the original proposal;
original proposal export power cables replaced with desalination plant intake and discharge pipelines, and ammonia product export pipelines and loadout, extending into Commonwealth waters to ship loadout facilities approximately 20 km offshore;
expansion of the solar arrays compared to the original proposal;
replacement of fly-in/fly-out or drive-in/drive out construction and operations workforce models with construction of a new company town to accommodate the revised proposal workforce; and
provision of at least 3GW of power generation capacity to be reserved for use in the Pilbara.
The revised proposal would be implemented within a development envelope approximately 668,100 ha in size with a 0.8% increase on the 662,400 ha development envelope of the original proposal. A more detailed description of the revised proposal is provided in Section 2.0. of the Proponent’s Asian Renewable Energy Hub Revised Proposal - Section 38 Referral Supporting Document (October 2020).