A Pre-Feasibility Study has been undertaken to evaluate the potential to export solar generated power from the Pilbara to the proposed ASEAN grid via a subsea direct current interconnector.

Pilbara Solar Export Pre-Feasibility Study

South East Asia is developing rapidly with a growing demand for expansion of electricity capacity. The International Energy Agency has projected that by 2040, ASEAN nations will require an additional 400 GW of electricity infrastructure. Indonesia is at the forefront of this electrification and has a target of 80.5 GW of new installed capacity by 2025 including 14.4 GW of renewable energy.

The north west of Western Australia has been identified internationally as one of the best global locations for large scale solar photovoltaic generation. The intent of the Pre-Feasibility Study is to draw attention to the potential of solar power generation as a key driver of economic diversification in the Pilbara and to determine whether more research is warranted for the development of an export-scale renewable energy project in the region.

To investigate this opportunity, the Commission supported a Pre-Feasibility Study to evaluate the potential to export solar generated power from the Pilbara to the proposed ASEAN grid via a subsea direct current interconnector.

The Pre-Feasibility Study examines the trends in cross border electricity trade, the South East Asian growth in electricity demand, High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission technology and the potential economic opportunities and benefits for Traditional Owners and the State of Western Australia. It also develops a scenario for the costs of solar, storage and HVDC engineering and the construction of a 3-gigawatt transmission from the north west of Western Australia to Indonesia.

Key findings of the scenario include:

  • it is technically feasible to build a gigawatt scale facility in the Pilbara and deliver the energy generated, via a HVDC cable to Indonesia,
  • solar energy generation, storage and HVDC costs are declining and if present trends continue, the commercial case for connection to Indonesia will be well established within 5 to 10 years.
The Pre-Feasibility study was launched by the Minister for Regional Development at the New Pilbara Economic Development Conference on 29 August 2017.

Click here to download a copy of the Study.

For more information please contact Pilbara Development Commission Principal Project Officer Richard Hancock via email richard.hancock@pdc.wa.gov.au or telephone (08) 6551 7504.


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