Alinta Energy Chichester solar gas hybrid project
Chichester Solar Gas Hybrid Project (Investment Decision, February 2019)
After years of planning, work and negotiation, construction on the ground-breaking Chichester Solar Gas Hybrid project commenced in 2020. The project was completed in December 2021.
This project built a new solar photovoltaic generation facility at the Fortescue Metals Group’s Chichester Hub iron ore operations, as well as a 60-kilometre transmission line linking the Fortescue’s Christmas Creek and Cloudbreak mining operations in the Pilbara with the existing high voltage transmission network and Newman gas-fired power station and 35MW battery facility. The project is expected to displace 100 million litres of diesel generation annually from the Pilbara delivering a cleaner, more affordable, and more connected energy supply.
This project is the result of joint efforts between Fortescue Metals Group, Alinta Energy and Downer, with funding contributions from the Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility (NAIF), Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), state and federal governments.
- 60 MW Solar PV power station.
- Transmission infrastructure.
- Substations to supply electricity.
The Value NAIF Brings
NAIF’s $90m loan is provided on the basis of concessional longer tenor and lower pricing than would be generally available from commercial financiers to assist the project’s cost competitiveness against cheaper options with no renewables and which would generate much lower public benefit.
- Targets of 3% employment (project labour hours) and 3% procurement supported by an Indigenous Participation Plan that engineering, procurement and construction contractors working on the project must comply with.
- Investment in a range of strategies to support Indigenous training and education throughout the operations phase of the project.
Australian Industry Participation
Australian Industry Participation (AIP) requirements ensure full, fair and reasonable opportunity for Australian industry to compete for work. This includes work in major public and private projects in Australia, and procurements or projects receiving Australian Government funding of $20 million or more.
NAIF projects must comply with the Commonwealth’s AIP policy.
The AIP Plan for this project is available here.
Economic Impact and Public Benefit
- Deloitte Access Economics in an independent cost benefit analysis forecast public benefits of $221m.
- Around 200 jobs during construction phase.
- An important step towards a broader interconnected network across the Pilbara with the potential to improve accessibility, efficiency, reliability and costs across the region for both businesses and residents.
NAIF’s media release on the Investment Decision can be found here
The Ministerial media release on the Investment Decision can be found here
“This is an amazing project. Displacing diesel generation with clean solar energy has never been tried at this scale in Australia. This project will be a major contributor to Fortescue’s goal of achieving net zero operational emissions by 2040 and Alinta Energy’s commitment to invest in 1,500MW of renewable energy projects by 2025.”
Scott Thomas – Alinta Energy GM Power Generation