Australia’s Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) has abandoned plans for developing an up to 5.4-GW renewable energy complex in Western Australia that would have represented a multi-billion-dollar investment.
The company has terminated the approval procedures with Western Australia’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and the assessment of its application has been scrapped, the agency’s website shows. No specific reasons were given for the cancellation.
Plans for the Uaroo Renewable Energy Hub were unveiled by Fortescue last year with the intention to ensure green power supply for the company’s mining operations in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. The scheme called for the installation of 340 wind turbines with a maximum combined capacity of 2,040 MW and solar photovoltaic (PV) panels of up to 3,333 MW in total, alongside a battery energy storage system with a design capacity of 9,100 MWh. The construction of associated infrastructure facilities was also part of the complex set to be located south of the town of Onslow, on land used predominantly for cattle grazing.
The developer initially expected to bring the capacity online in about seven years, in time to support its 2030 goal for zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions across its Australian iron ore operations. Fortescue CEO Dino Otranto, however, recently told The Australian Financial Review that Uaroo aimed to support the company’s ammonia export ambitions rather than its decarbonisation strategy.