By Sonali Paul
MELBOURNE (Reuters) – The Australian authorities has rejected plans for a $36 billion wind, photo voltaic and hydrogen mission in a distant space of Western Australia, leaving what would have been one of many world’s largest inexperienced vitality tasks in limbo for now.
In a call dated June 15, printed on the surroundings division’s web site, Atmosphere Minister Sussan Ley dominated that the mission, the Asian Renewable Power Hub (AREH), “could have clearly unacceptable impacts” on internationally recognised wetlands and migratory fowl species.
The AREH mission, positioned within the state’s Pilbara area, was designed to initially construct 15 gigawatts (GW) of renewable vitality capability, ultimately to be expanded to 26 GW and produce inexperienced hydrogen and ammonia for export.
The federal government had awarded the mission fast-track approval standing final September, touting the roles, clear vitality for native trade and large-scale export alternative that it might carry. AREH is being developed by privately owned InterContinental Power, renewables developer CWP Power Asia, prime international wind turbine maker Vestas and a Macquarie Group fund.
The surroundings minister cited the enlargement plan within the rejection resolution. The mission’s authentic plan received environmental approval final December.
The proposed enlargement got here with a port facility for ammonia; a city that will be dwelling to eight,000 folks together with mission staff; expanded photo voltaic arrays; ammonia, hydrogen and desalination crops and storage amenities; and a pipeline route for transporting ammonia, seawater and brine by way of wetlands.
“We at the moment are working to know the minister’s issues, and can have interaction additional with the minister and her division as we proceed to work on the detailed design and engineering facets of the mission,” the AREH consortium mentioned in an announcement. The mission, on the drafting board since 2014, initially deliberate to generate wind and solar energy and transmit it by way of an undersea cable to Asia, however final yr modified plans, aiming to make use of clear energy to separate water to supply hydrogen and ammonia for export.
Australia’s Clear Power Council on Monday mentioned it expects the federal government will work with AREH to evaluate and tackle any environmental impacts. “If the federal government is to be taken severely on creating a hydrogen financial system, corporations prioritising genuinely zero emissions tasks ought to be assisted to achieve a ultimate funding resolution,” mentioned Dan Gocher, local weather and surroundings director on the Australasian Centre for Company Accountability.
(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Modifying by Kenneth Maxwell)
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