Macquarie Group has agreed to provide development capital to the Asian Renewable Energy Hub, a 11GW large wind and solar hybrid power project in Australia.
The investment allows Macquarie to join the project consortium that includes Intercontinental Energy, Vestas and CWP Energy Asia.
The consortium is developing the renewable project hub, which will be located the Pilbara region in Western Australia, with an estimated total cost of more than A$22bn ($15.58bn).
The 11GW generation capacity will include more than 7.5GW in wind energy and 3.5GW in solar PV arrays, which could generate more than 40TWh of competitively priced clean energy every year.
The energy hub’s generation capacity has been increased from 9GW to more than 11GW, with more than half being allocated for new energy users in the Pilbara. This includes mines, mineral processing and anticipated large scale production of green hydrogen.
Energy generated from the hub is also expected to be exported directly to South East Asia through subsea electrical cables, but the emphasis is to support domestic economic growth.
Hub Director Alex Tancock said “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. We are excited to have Macquarie Group joining as a consortium member.”
Pilbara Development Commission Chairperson Brendan Hammond stated that a renewable energy development of this scale would be a major boost for jobs in the Pilbara and Western Australia.
Hammond said: “Renewable energy is a key economic diversification opportunity for the Pilbara which capitalises on existing natural wind and solar assets.”
“Producing renewable energy in the region would boost the business competitiveness of the Pilbara by significantly lowering the cost of energy to accelerate the rate development in not only mining, but other emerging industries.”
The consortium expects to reach financial close for the first phase of the project in 2021. The energy hub will be built in phases over a period of six to seven years.