An international consortium has unveiled plans to use 50GW of wind and solar PV capacity in Western Australia to produce green hydrogen and green ammonia.
The Western Green Energy Hub would be built across 15,000km2 in the south-east of the state – a region with an optimal diurnal profile for renewable energy, with consistently high levels of wind and solar over a 24-hour period, its developers claim.
It would consist of 30GW of wind and 20GW of solar PV capacity feeding up to 28GW of electrolysers, a spokeswoman told Windpower Monthly.
If built, it would become the world’s largest green hydrogen facility – larger than the 45GW wind- and solar-to-green hydrogen planned by German developer Svevind in Kazakhstan.
InterContinental Energy, CWP Global and Mirning Green Energy claim that the A$70 billion (US$52 billion) Australian project could produce up to 3.5 million tonnes of green hydrogen or 20 million tonnes of green ammonia each year.
They would provide these green fuels domestically within Australia, while the project’s location near the coast would enable international export as well.
This green hydrogen and green ammonia will meet massive future demand from multiple sectors, the developers added. Such sectors include co-firing in power generation – the burning of more than one material at once for power – shipping, heavy industry such as steel, chemicals and mining, as well as aviation.
The developers plan to finance the project themselves and are in talks with potential offtakers in various sectors.
They plan to make a final investment decision after 2028, and believe the first phase – of an unspecified capacity – could be operational by 2030.
Hong Kong-based developer InterContinental Energy and Australian counterpart CWP Renewables will work with first nations land owners on the project, they explained.
Co-developer Mirning Green Energy Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of the aboriginal peoples group Mirning Traditional Lands Aboriginal Corporation. It will have a “meaningful” equity stake in the project and a permanent seat on the consortium’s board, InterContinental and CWP explained.
InterContinental Energy and CWP Global’s subsidiary CWP Renewables are also working together on a separate 26GW clean energy hub in Western Australia.
However, the Australian environment department recently rejected plans for the second 11GW phase of this complex over potential impacts on wetlands and migratory bird species. The developers are now working to better understand the department’s concerns and amend the project accordingly.