Vestas and its partners, CWP Energy Asia and InterContinental Energy, have agreed to develop the 6GW Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH).
AREH is a proposed wind and solar hybrid power plant to be located in Western Australia’s East Pilbara region. Energy generated there will be exported to Indonesia via subsea electrical cables. The first phase development of the project is estimated to cost $10bn.
Its proximity to Indonesia coupled with the advances in subsea cable technology is expected to allow cost-efficient transmission of electricity over very long distances.
The project’s wind and solar resources are expected to generate large-scale, stable and competitively priced renewable electricity.
InterContinental Energy managing director Alexander Tancock said: “The most important step in developing a project is finding the best site. We spent two years investigating the entire northwest coast of Australia, and found this incredible location.
“Almost three times the size of Bali; it has a unique geography and topography that gives it far higher wind and solar resources than the average in that area. And those resources are perfectly complementary, with lots of sun during the daytime and high wind speeds in the morning, evening and night. That is why we can deliver such competitively priced power to Indonesia.”
Though the electricity generated would come from Australia, the wind and solar generating equipment will be manufactured in Indonesia. This is expected to create a new source of skilled, high-tech jobs and the development of local supply chain and technology and knowledge transfer.
CWP Energy Asia managing director Alexander Hewitt said: “Wind and solar energy, working together, have enormous potential to supply reliable and competitively-priced renewable energy across regions.
“Given the increasing ability to move energy over long distances, the Asia Renewable Energy Hub is a compelling proposition for Indonesia – not only for supplying the energy, but for the economic benefits that come with establishing manufacturing facilities in Indonesia.“
The hub is expected to start supplying power by 2025, helping Indonesia to energy demand and renewable energy targets.
Subsequent phases of the project are expected to supply electricity to other South East Asian countries.
Vestas Asia Pacific president Clive Turton said: “As renewable energy becomes cost-competitive with fossil fuels, it becomes more and more attractive both as source of electricity and as a source of jobs and investment.
“The Asian Renewable Energy Hub can compete over the long-term as a cost-effective means of supplying energy. It can also provide the foundation for a strong Indonesian renewable energy technology manufacturing hub, driving investment, job creation and a local value-added supply chain.”
Image: Vestas’ V126-3.3 MW wind turbine in Denmark. Photo: Courtesy of Vestas Wind Systems A/S.