Solar Power Station Australia

The Western Australian Government is offering more than $11 million to seven regional projects in the second round of the Clean Energy Future Fund (CEFF).

The CEFF supports innovative clean energy projects and technologies with the potential to support reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

The projects include solar, wind, biogas and bio-diesel generation, battery and pumped hydroelectric storage, geothermal energy, and the replacement of gas with electricity to decarbonise the alumina refining process.

The Successful Clean Energy Future Fund Round 2 projects are:

  1. $2 million for Frontier Impact Group’s Narrogin Renewable Diesel Project as part of the FutureEnergy Australia joint venture with Carnarvon Energy Ltd to build a high temperature pyrolysis plant to produce 18 million litres of renewable diesel per year, as well as biochar and wood vinegar
  2. $2 million for Power Research and Development’s Pumped-up Walpole project to build a 1.5MW pumped hydroelectric storage in Walpole using two farm dams to store 30MWh and increase grid reliability
  3. $1.8 million for Advanced Energy Resources’ Castelli Moora Microgrid project to build a biomass, wind and battery microgrid incorporating existing solar generation and serving a piggery and citrus farm, and potentially other farms in Moora
  4. $2 million for Strike Energy’s Mid West Geothermal Project to drill a pilot well to demonstrate geothermal energy near Dongara to enable a future 180MW project
  5. $1.7 million for Alcoa’s Electric Calcination project to pilot replacing gas with electricity for calcination of alumina to decarbonise the refining process, giving Western Australia a commercial advantage to grow a green aluminium industry with our abundant renewable resources
  6. $340,000 for Metro Power Company’s AmbriSolar Battery Energy Storage System project to add solar generation and a DC-coupled battery to an existing solar farm in Merredin
  7. $1.5 million for Alinta Energy’s Port Hedland Big Battery project to add battery storage to a gas-fired power station to replace spinning reserve, which burns gas, with energy stored in the battery to provide instant support to the grid when needed

The seven projects are expected to:

  • Invest $197 million, much of it in Western Australia
  • Create up to 255 jobs during construction and provide 63 jobs operational jobs 
  • Generate 81,000MWh each year, enough to power 16,000 average Western Australian homes
  • Avoid around 132,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year, or 2.4 million tonnes over their design lives

If the pilot projects are successful and technologies prove commercially viable, the seven projects could reduce emissions by 32 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in Western Australia.

State Environment Minister, Reece Whitby, said the high-level of interest and the quality of proposals submitted to the second round of the CEFF demonstrates a strong and innovative clean energy industry developing in Western Australia.

“The State Government is proud to support these projects in their efforts to decarbonise existing industry and develop new low carbon industries,” Mr Whitby said.

“These seven projects will not only reduce carbon emissions and create jobs across the State, but they will test critical low carbon technologies and support Western Australia to achieve our target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”

Project funding is conditional on successful completion of a formal funding agreement.

The total $19 million for both rounds of the CEFF is administered by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, with support from Energy Policy WA.

Nomadic Energy’s project at Northern Star’s Carosue Dam gold mine is a success from the first round of CEFF funding. It completed installation in August 2021 and is generating energy from its re-deployable solar panels to support the mine.

State Energy Minister, Bill Johnston, the Clean Energy Future Fund supports leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators in Western Australia’s clean energy sector.

“We have the resources, the highly skilled workforces and the drive in this State to create a dynamic clean energy economy,” Mr Johnston said.

“These impressive Round 2 clean energy projects will provide new local renewable energy options, improve energy security and reliability, and strengthen our economy.”

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