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Woodside brings Traditional Owners in on power project

30th November 2022

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

     

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PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Oil and gas major Woodside has entered into a bilateral Indigenous Land Use Agreement and a modern benefits-sharing and relationship agreement with the Ngarluma Aboriginal Corporation (NAC) over the proposed Woodside power project in the Pilbara.

Woodside is currently investigating the supply of approximately 50 MW of solar energy from the power opportunity to the Pluto liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility, which would result in a direct reduction in Scope 1 greenhouse-gas emissions from Pluto.

The power opportunity is proposed to initially generate electricity from a large-scale solar farm, complemented by a battery energy storage system (BESS). Woodside plans to supply this solar energy through the Horizon Power-operated section of the North West Interconnected System (NWIS) to its customers connected to the NWIS. Subject to various factors, such as a customer’s existing electricity source and demand profile, every 100 MW of solar electricity supplied to customers connected to the NWIS is expected to reduce greenhouse emissions by 100 000 t/y, as well as reducing emissions of other pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides.

Woodside progressed environmental studies and submitted a referral to the Environmental Protection Authority in November 2021.

“Woodside acknowledges the Ngarluma people, the Traditional Owners and native title holders of the land on which the power opportunity would be located and we thank NAC and the Ngarluma people for working together with us to finalise the agreements needed to progress the opportunity,” said Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill.

“We have been engaging with NAC regarding the power opportunity since 2019 and the agreements are a significant milestone to celebrate together. We look forward to continuing to work with NAC and Ngarluma people as we progress the power opportunity.”

The agreements set out a framework for the delivery of social and economic benefits to NAC and Ngarluma people in connection with the power opportunity, and outline how Woodside and NAC will work together to develop the power opportunity, including the management of cultural heritage.

Early engagement with NAC has ensured the project will be designed to avoid heritage impacts, Woodside said on Wednesday.

The framework is consistent with Woodside’s objectives for the integration of renewable energy into Woodside-operated facilities and achieving positive outcomes for the Indigenous communities in which it operates.

The company is continuing to work with preferred developers Pacific Energy Group and Horizon Power on the development of the solar generation, BESS and transmission infrastructure required for the power opportunity. There is also potential to expand the power opportunity to a maximum of 500 MW if needed to meet customer demand for solar energy in the future.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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