Oil company Woodside Petroleum has handed in a proposal with Western Australia’s environmental regulator to build an up-to-500MW PV farm near its liquefied natural gas operations in the state’s north-west.
The WA Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) confirmed via Twitter on Monday that Woodside had submitted its plan for the Woodside solar facility, which would be developed in 100MW phases in the Maitland Strategic Industrial Area, roughly 15 km south-west of Karratha.
Alongside the PV plant, which will consist of roughly 1 million panels, Woodside also intends to build a battery-based energy storage facility, with a 2,000MWh capacity.
Included in the project scope is installation of an electrical substation and access road, along with supporting facilities that may include a maintenance workshop, laydown areas, office, ablutions and crib facilities.
Electricity from the Woodside solar farm would be delivered to industrial customers via Horizon Power’s North-West Interconnected System (NWIS), which provides for connection of new generators and loads.
The company expects the five construction phases to each take between six and nine months.
Woodside first flagged its plans for a solar farm near its LNG facilities on the Burrup Peninsular last year, at the time highlighting the initial 100MW development would make it one of the largest solar projects in Western Australia.
The Australian operator believes the initial 100MW development has the potential to reduce up to 100,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per annum. Woodside's total scope 1 and 2 emissions in 2020 were 9.2 million tonnes.
Woodside also noted in its EPA proposal the solar farm development could also lead to a reduction in other potentially harmful emissions, such as nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides.