October 8 (Solar) – Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX:MQG) has agreed to join the consortium developing the Asian Renewable Energy Hub in Western Australia, whose capacity is being expanded to 11 GW from 9 GW, it was announced on Monday.
The Australian investment bank will provide development capital to the large-scale initiative, which is expected to require a total capital investment exceeding AUD 22 billion (USD 15.5bn/EUR 13.5bn). It joins a team that currently includes Intercontinental Energy, Danish wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems A/S (CPH:VWS) and renewables developer CWP Energy Asia.
Located in Western Australia's Pilbara region, the Asian Renewable Energy Hub is planned to comprise over 7.5 GW of wind turbines and over 3.5 GW of photovoltaic (PV) systems and is projected to produce more than 40 TWh of power per year. It is to be built in phases over a period of six-seven years, with financial close for the first phase expected in 2021.
According to the press release on the project's website, more than half of the hub's capacity has been allocated for existing and new energy users in the Pilbara such as mines, mineral processing and anticipated large-scale production of green hydrogen. Significant generation is still earmarked for direct export to South East Asia via subsea cables, but there is an increased accent now on support for domestic economic growth.
"The Asian Renewable Energy Hub will supply large scale, low cost, clean energy to enable customers in the Pilbara to grow, unlocking billions of dollars of investment potential throughout the region," said hub director Alex Tancock.
The project was recently awarded lead agency status, for facilitation by the West Australian Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation under the Lead Agency Framework.
(AUD 1 = USD 0.705/EUR 0.613)