A partnership between Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation (YAC) and renewable energy company ACEN Australia is pursuing up to 3GW of wind, solar and energy storage projects within the Yindjibarndi Native Title Determination Areas.
Yindjibarndi Energy Corporation (YEC) was announced on 17 July, where ACEN stated the partnership represented “a new benchmark for meaningful participation by Indigenous Australians in the country’s transition to a clean energy future”.
The YEC said in its Information Booklet, available online, that Yindjibarndi country is well-suited to renewable energy because it is located in the centre of the Pilbara, outside the Category D cyclone zone, elevated and close to existing transmission infrastructure. The Pilbara region is also home to some of the largest industrial energy users globally, many of whom have expressed a desire to participate in a transition to a carbon neutral future.
Commercial discussions with potential customers are underway to facilitate off-take agreements and collaboration on project development.
Immediate opportunities have been identified with high prospectivity and a more readily achievable land assembly process to unlock value. These specific land holdings within Yindjibarndi Ngurra are located within the historical Millstream water reserve or held via exclusive possession rights of the Yindjibarndi Nation.
Technical studies are also underway to progress investigation, permitting, connection and development activities.
While YEC has identified priority areas for renewable energy development, it will take some time before more details on specific locations are defined. Decisions on design and location of eventual developments will be made in consultation with the Yindjibarndi people.
Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation Chief Executive, Michael Woodley, said, “We know that our country is well located for renewable energy development, so we made the decision early to lead. We established a small team and set out to find a partner with the right capabilities and values, which led us to ACEN.”
ACEN International CEO, Patrice Clausse, said that the Yindjibarndi Energy Corporation represents one of the largest renewable energy Indigenous partnerships in Australia, setting a new benchmark for meaningful participation by Indigenous Australians in the country’s transition to a clean energy future.
“Our partnership with the Yindjibarndi is aligned on so many levels, and we’re incredibly grateful for the trust the Yindjibarndi community has put in ACEN to responsibly explore development opportunities in partnership with them on their country.”