Australian company looks into combined energy project

In: Windfarms

Pilot Energy Limited has announced that it is commencing a detailed feasibility study to pursue the development of a project to combine offshore and onshore wind energy with solar power. The project is developed along the Mid West Region of Western Australia.

The concept for the project is to develop a major offshore wind farm located in the area of Offshore Exploration Permit WA-481-P and to combine this development with an onshore solar farm to deliver a combined wind and solar project capable of delivering a large scale source of low cost green energy on a sustainable basis.

Pilot Energy is the majority owner (60%) and operator of WA-481-P, which covers 130 graticular blocks and is one of the largest offshore exploration permits in Australian Commonwealth waters. It covers most of the offshore portion of the North Perth Basin extending from North of Oakajee, Western Australia to south of Cervantes, Western Australia covering over 8600 km2 along approximately 250 km of the offshore Western Australian coast.

The offshore wind resource within the area covered by WA-481-P has been measured to have an annual mean wind speed greater than 9 m/s at a hub height 100 meters. The eastern boundary of WA-481-P is approximately 10 km offshore in relatively shallow water depths ranging between 20 to 40-meter water depth along the entire eastern portion of the permit from 10 km to 30 km offshore. Out of the 8600 km2 area of the permit over 7600 km2 (88%) of the permit area is in water depths of 60 meters or less.

For the purposes of undertaking the feasibility studies, Pilot Energy has developed a conceptual development layout for a four stage development for up to 1.1 GW. This is comprised of up to seventy-eight 78 turbines, each with a 14 MW capacity. Under this development concept, the offshore wind turbines can be located at least 14 kms offshore and in water depths of between 20-40, in the area covered by the Offshore Exploration Permit WA-481-P.

Pilot’s Chairman, Brad Lingo, said: “The Mid West Wind and Solar Project is directly aligned with the strategic plan that the company announced in the ASX release of 13 May 2020 and with our existing position as the operator of the Offshore Exploration Permit WA-481-P. We see this as a perfect opportunity to develop a major renewable energy transition project in the Mid West Coast Region of Western Australia.

“This is exactly the type of development that demonstrates the ability to substantially redefine how the Australian offshore oil and gas industry can, in parallel with existing operations, participate in a low carbon future through offshore renewable energy projects delivering substantial low cost energy to Western Australia. The substantial nature of the offshore opportunity in Western Australian also presents the option to supply renewable hydrogen for domestic residential and industrial consumption as well as the potential to supply international markets.”

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