The Asian Renewable Energy Hub is a ground-breaking proposal for a wind and solar hybrid power plant to be constructed in Western Australia that would export its electricity to Indonesia via undersea High Voltage DC transmission cables. The AREH is being developed by a team which includes CWP Energy Asia, InterContinental Energy, and Vestas. The proposed plant could provide up to 6 GW of power.
The AREH encompasses 7,000 square kilometres of land in the East Pilbara region of Western Australia. It is on the traditional lands of the Nyangumarta people, who have been closely engaged in the project since its inception, and have actively participated in site ecological studies.
The project team including investors and the Governments of Indonesia, Australia and Denmark, has submitted the project for environmental review in Australia.
The wind and solar generating equipment for the project will be manufactured in Indonesia, creating a new source of skilled, high-tech jobs, the development of a local supply chain and technology and knowledge transfer.
It is hoped that by 2025, the AREH will provide electricity that will help Indonesia meet its energy demands and renewable energy targets. In addition, AREH would help address energy security challenges through long-term and stable pricing for electricity.
Clive Turton, President of Vestas Asia Pacific, said, “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.”
The site’s proximity to Indonesia, combined with advances in subsea cable technology that allow the cost-efficient transmission of electricity over very long distances, created the opportunity to develop this large-scale intercontinental renewable energy hub. The first phase of the AREH Project has an initial cost estimate of $10 billion, with subsequent phases to include supplying renewable energy to other countries in South East Asia.
The AREH project team has experience developing and building renewable energy projects in Australia, Indonesia and around the globe. Technology partners Prysmian and Swire Pacific Offshore assisted with the feasibility work and remain engaged in the Project. Prysmian is a leading subsea cable manufacturer and Swire Pacific Offshore is an offshore contractor.
“The most important step in developing a project is finding the best site,” said Alexander Tancock, Managing Director of InterContinental Energy. “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.”