The Clean Energy Future Fund was launched in April 2020 and supports the implementation of innovative clean energy projects in Western Australia which offer high public value through contributing to one or more of the following outcomes:
- significant, cost-effective reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below projected (or baseline) emissions as a direct result of the clean energy project
- design, deployment, testing or demonstration of innovative clean energy projects likely to deliver community benefits or lead to broad adoption and significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
The fund is focused on projects where our funding can secure tangible emissions reductions, and applications with a strong potential for wider adoption.
The $19 million Clean Energy Future Fund is administered by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation with support from Energy Policy WA.
Round one applications closed on 13 July 2020. Two applicants were successful for grants totalling $2.6 million. Together the projects will create more than 365 construction jobs and 22 ongoing jobs.
Each year, the projects will generate 77,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity – enough to power 15,000 houses and save 53,000 tonnes of carbon emissions, which is equal to taking 17,000 cars off the road.
The successful projects are:
- Nomadic Energy – $1 million – to install 5 megawatts (MW) of modular, re-deployable solar panels at Northern Star’s Carosue Dam gold mine. The flexibility to redeploy the solar panels removes a key barrier to using green energy at mine sites, where a mine may cease operating before the cost of the solar panels has been recovered. The installation is complete and generating more energy than modelled.
- ResourcesWA – $1.6 million – to install 30 MW of solar power at the Homestead mine site in the Goldfields, supplying power to the Paddington Mill and Mungari Mill sites and batteries at each of the mills (10 MW and 5 MW respectively, each with one hour’s storage). This will reduce the impact of outages and support Western Power’s local substation. This project is in progress.
Round two applications closed on 22 April 2021. Seven applicants were successful; however, one withdrew before project commencement. The remaining grants total $9.3 million. The projects will test critical low-carbon technologies and support Western Australia to achieve our target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Together, the six projects are expected to:
- invest about $170 million, much of it in Western Australia
- create up to 255 jobs during construction, and 63 ongoing jobs
- generate 81,000 MWh each year, enough to power 16,000 average WA homes
- avoid about 132,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year or 2.4 million tonnes over their design lives.
If the pilot projects are successful and technologies prove commercially viable, the six projects could lead to lifetime emissions reduction of 71 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent just in Western Australia, with significant potential for wider adoption of the technologies developed.
The successful projects are:
- Frontier Impact Group’s Narrogin Renewable Diesel Project as part of the FutureEnergy Australia joint venture with Carnarvon Energy Ltd – $2 million – to build a high-temperature pyrolysis plant to produce 18 million litres of renewable diesel per year, as well as biochar and wood vinegar.
- Power Research and Development’s Pumped-up Walpole project – $2 million – to build 1.5 MW pumped hydroelectric storage in Walpole using two farm dams to store 30 MWh and increase grid reliability.
- Advanced Energy Resources’ Moora Microgrid project – $1.8 million – to build a wind, solar and battery microgrid incorporating biogas and existing solar generation. This will serve a piggery, citrus farm and potentially other farms in Moora.
- Alcoa’s Electric Calcination project – $1.7 million – to pilot replacing gas with electricity for calcination of alumina to decarbonise the refining process, giving Western Australia a commercial advantage to grow a green aluminium industry with our abundant renewable resources.
- Metro Power Company’s Ambrisolar Battery Energy Storage System project – $340,000 – to add solar generation and a DC-coupled battery to an existing solar farm in Merredin.
- Alinta Energy’s Port Hedland Big Battery project – $1.5 million – to add battery storage to a gas-fired power station to replace spinning reserve, which burns gas, with energy stored in the battery to provide instant support to the grid when needed.
Strike Energy’s Mid West Geothermal Project – to drill a pilot well to demonstrate geothermal energy near Dongara to enable a future 180 MW project – was withdrawn by the applicant before commencement.
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