Australia rejects massive 26 GW renewable energy hub

The government cited environmental concerns as its reason for dismissing the proposed $36b power project.

The Australian government has rejected plans for a $36b solar, wind and hydrogen project.

Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley dismissed the proposed 26 GW Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH), citing concerns on its environmental impacts on wetlands designated of international significance and migratory birds in the region.

The project originally received its environmental approval for its initial stage of 15 GW. But new permits were required after the developers decided to expand the original plan and shifted the entire infrastructure to suit the production and export of green hydrogen and ammonia.

In its updated proposal, solar generation capacity was increased in addition to hydrogen and ammonia production plants as well as desalination and energy storage facilities. The plan also outlined the need to develop a port facility for ammonia and pipelines for its transportation with plans to build a new town to house at least 8,000 workers.

"We are now working to understand the minister's concerns, and will engage further with the minister and her department as we continue to work on the detailed design and engineering aspects of the project," the AREH consortium said in a statement.

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