Fortescue scraps plans for 5.4 GW of wind, solar, storage in Australia


From pv magazine Australia

Documents provided by the West Australian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) confirm that Fortescue has terminated the approval applications process for the multi-billion-dollar Uaroo Renewable Energy Hub planned for the state’s Pilbara region.

Fortescue had planned to build a renewable energy hub comprising a 3.33 GW solar farm and 2.04 GW wind farm backed by 9.1 GWh of battery energy storage on an 10,000-hectare site approximately 120 kilometres south of the coastal town of Onslow.

Fortescue lodged environmental documents with the EPA early last year but the authority has now confirmed that the company terminated the approvals process midway through last month.

The project had been identified as a critical component of the company’s plan to decarbonize its mining operations in Western Australia by 2030.

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Fortescue, which estimates its mining operations generate more than 2.5 million tons of carbon equivalent each year, has forecast it will need to deploy an additional 2 GW to 3 GW of renewable energy generation and battery storage to decarbonize its operations by the end of the decade.

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In a presentation to analysts and investors in October, Fortescue outlined plans to build more than 1 GW of solar, about 1 GW of wind energy, and about 4 GWh of battery storage to eliminate gas and diesel from its mining operations.

The company said one 60 MW solar farm has already been built at Chichester by Alinta, and construction of a 100 MW solar farm at North Star Junction, near its Iron Bridge magnetite operations, is nearing completion and two small battery projects are well advanced.

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