Australian outback

Western Australia has processed the first project assessment as part of the State Government’s Green Energy Approvals Initiative, granting approval to Yindjibarndi Energy Corporation (YEC) for the first of several proposals totalling 3GW of clean energy. 

The proposed projects could become one of Australia’s largest renewable energy developments once complete. 

YEC, in partnership with ACEN Australia, received environmental approval for its first solar project of up to 150MW located within a 13,000km ² area in the Pilbara, covered by the Yindjibarndi Native Title Determination Area. 

Led by the Western Australia Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s green energy directorate, the Western Australia Government has worked across multiple agencies to ensure the most efficient approvals pathway for this proposal, as well as a significant number of renewable energy projects being pursued in the state. 

YEC’s projects will total 3GW of solar, wind and storage capacity and, if successful, could become one of Australia’s largest renewable energy developments. 

The projects could also play a significant role in decarbonising Western Australia, creating sustainable, long-term training and employment opportunities for Aboriginal Australians, and supporting renewable energy uptake by industry in the Pilbara. 

The Western Australia Government said the Green Energy Approvals Initiative is delivering coordinated, cross-government support for proponents and investors. 

Now fully operational, the initiative is designed to drive investment in wind and solar power generation, renewable hydrogen industries, lithium mining, and critical minerals processing, as well as the manufacturing of batteries, electrolysers, solar panels, and wind turbines. 

Western Australia Minister for Environment and Climate Action, Reece Whitby, said, “I want to see Western Australia become a renewable energy powerhouse, so it is critical we cut red tape and get clean energy projects online without unnecessary delays. 

“Yindjibarndi’s proposals are exactly what our government wants to see more of in Western Australia. 

“With the potential to decarbonise our state’s energy systems, create On Country jobs for Aboriginal Australians, and support renewable energy uptake by industry in the Pilbara, I look forward to seeing YEC’s proposals come to fruition,” Mr Whitby said. 

Western Australia Member for Pilbara, Kevin Michel, said, “I’m thrilled the first project assessed under the Green Energy Approvals Initiative has been approved, marking a significant step forward for renewable energy in the Pilbara. 

“This project will help decarbonise our energy systems and create sustainable jobs, driving significant benefits for our community and environment. 

“Making Western Australia a renewable energy superpower involves cutting red tape and accelerating clean energy projects, which is essential for our state’s sustainable future.  

“I’m excited to see the YEC’s projects come to life, setting a new standard for renewable energy developments in the Pilbara,” Mr Michel said.  

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