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Macquarie backs renewable hub development in Australia

Macquarie Group Ltd. agreed to invest in the Asian Renewable Energy Hub, a wind and solar hybrid power hub in the Pilbara region in Western Australia.

Macquarie will join Intercontinental Energy, Vestas Wind Systems A/S and CWP Energy Asia as part of the project consortium, according to an Oct. 8 news release.

The project's generation capacity will be increased to 11 GW from the 9 GW, of which more than 7.5 GW will be powered by wind turbines and more than 3.5 GW will be sourced from solar photovoltaic arrays. Capital investment in the Hub is expected to top A$22 billion.

Over half of the project's output is now allocated for current and new energy consumers in Pilbara, including mines, mineral processing and expected large scale production of green hydrogen. Domestic demand has increased but the Hub will still provide a portion of its generation to Southeast Asia through subsea electric cables, as first proposed in 2017.

Construction of the project will be divided into phases within a period of about six to seven years. Financing for the first phase of the Hub is expected to close in 2021.