wind farm

The Western Australian Government has dedicated $11 million for seven innovative clean energy projects through the second round of its Clean Energy Future Fund (CEFF).

The CEFF will support regional projects that have the potential to support reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and create hundreds of jobs.

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

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.

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

The successful Clean Energy Future Fund Round 2 projects include:

  • Frontier Impact Group’s Narrogin Renewable Diesel Project  as part of the FutureEnergy Australia joint venture with Carnarvon Energy to build a high-temperature pyrolysis plant to produce 18 million litres of renewable diesel per year, as well as biochar and wood vinegar
  • 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
  • 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
  • Strike Energy’s Mid West Geothermal Project to drill a pilot well to demonstrate geothermal energy near Dongara to enable a future 180MW project
  • 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 
  • 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
  • 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

Western Australian Environment Minister, Reece Whitby, said, “The high level of interest and the quality of proposals submitted to the second round of the Clean Energy Future Fund demonstrates a strong and innovative clean energy industry developing in Western Australia.

“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.”

Western Australian Energy Minister, Bill Johnston, said the second round of the fund  was a win for energy entrepreneurs.

“The Clean Energy Future Fund supports leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators in Western Australia’s clean energy sector,” 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.”

The $19 million CEFF is administered by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, with support from Energy Policy Western Australia.

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. 

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