Solar farms, they’re metal as heck. If you were to strap a dude to the desert floor each and every day, the sun would wither them into dust. Meanwhile, some solar panels would thrive under such conditions. They could even help turn the sunlight into green hydrogen. Is there anything more buckwild than that?
It’s therefore mint that the Western Australian Government is stanning some new solar farm projects. These projects are primarily centred on turning solar into green hydrogen. This is because green hydrogen’s a sustainable energy source that can be used to power cars, heat homes, and replace fossil fuels.
In the WA town of Denham, the state’s first green hydrogen facility has just been given the green light. What’s more, in Northam and Kununurra, another two projects will hopefully get off the ground.
Here are the details pertaining to these projects and what makes them so hype.
WA’s Denham Solar Farm Project
Denham is a small WA town of 754 people. It’s also now home to Horizon Power’s new solar panel farm and green hydrogen plant.
On 18 July, the Dangerous Goods Directorate deemed that these facilities were safe. This means that they now have the green light to progress.
This is huge, as Denham was traditionally powered by a diesel-generated microgrid. Horizon Power’s faculties will help lower Denham’s electricity prices and help make this community more sustainable.
According to Horizon Power’s Project Manager, Renato Pascucci, this stamp of safety is a symbol of good things to come.
As Pascucci explained, “It shows we have the right systems in place and expertise to ensure the larger multi-million-dollar projects, expected to start in the next few years, also operate in a safe and sustainable manner.”
WA’s Northam Green Hydrogen Project
According to the WA Government, 18 July wasn’t just a great day for Denham. It was also a slay for Northam. This is because, on this date, the government committed $5 million to build a green hydrogen plant in the region.
Like the Denham region, Northam is also a regional town. However, it’s a whack bigger, consisting of 11,940 people.
Northam’s green hydrogen plant will be built by Infinite Green Energy. This plant will be powered by an already existing WA solar farm. It’ll also create fuel for hydrogen-based vehicles.
WA’s Hydrogen Industry Minister, Bill Johnston, was understandably delighted about this development.
“The $5 million, from the Investment Attraction Fund, will help Infinite Green Energy establish Western Australia’s first renewable green hydrogen production system,” said Johnston.
“This is an important step to help kickstart the development of an end-user market for locally produced green hydrogen.”
WA’s Kununurra Solar Farm Project
Last, but not least, let’s chat about Kununurra, a joint of 4,515 people. This WA town’s solar farm project is particularly exciting.
In Kununurra, three First Nation communities are currently collabing with a green energy manufacturer. As a team, they want to build a 900-megawatt solar farm. The electricity produced on this farm would then be turned into green hydrogen.
Overall, this project will cost more than $3 billion.
The traditional owners involved in this deal are the MG Corporation, the Balanggarra Aboriginal Corporation, and the Kimberley Land Council. Meanwhile, the energy company supporting these groups is the Pollination Group.
Ruby Heard, an Indigenous Kimberley woman and the Director of Alinga Energy Consulting, thinks that this collab is a blessing. Additionally, she believes that there should be more Kununurra-esque projects in the future.
“We want our mobs involved in the planning, in the design, and, if possible, in the ownership of the projects,” said Heard, “and the operation of them as well.”
“These kinds of projects are more aligned with our values: Using the natural resources of this country, rather than just purely digging things up and burning them… It also just presents such a great opportunity for us for jobs that are going to be on country, which is something that we’re always pushing for.
“Good jobs, on country.”