WA government announce money for a feasibility study into Collie Battery and Hydrogen Industrial Hub Project

Collie-Preston MLA Jodie Hanns with Ross Garnaut, regional development minister Alannah MacTiernan.
Collie-Preston MLA Jodie Hanns with Ross Garnaut, regional development minister Alannah MacTiernan.

The transition from coal is another step closure with funding for a feasibility study into a renewable energy centre in Collie.

The state government announced on Friday April 1, $1 million for the first stage study into the Collie Battery and Hydrogen Industrial Hub Project.

The study will be undertaken by Sunshot Energy and chaired by energy expert Ross Garnaut who will assess the economic case for establishing a hydrogen electrolyser.

The hydrogen electrolyser will be powered by renewable energy, which could also produce green ammonia and urea for agricultural and industrial uses.

Regional development minister Alannah MacTiernan said a feature of the hub would be a 600-800 megawatt hour battery which would provide renewable energy to new and existing industrial projects in Collie.

She said the battery would be around four times the size of Tesla's big battery in South Australia.

"It makes sense for Collie, which is at the heart of the South-West energy system, to become a renewable energy industrial hub as we transition away from the coal industry," she said.

The government expect new industrial activity that is linked to access of decarbonised, low-cost energy would lead to significant job creation and broaden Collie's long-term prosperity.

Should the economic case be successful, the project is estimated to create $730 million of new investment in green industries and decarbonisation initiatives, including 500 construction and 400 ongoing jobs for the region.

Collie-Preston MLA Jodie Hanns said the announcement was another project that aligns with the Collie Transition Plan and was a good next step to keep energy sector jobs in the area.

"The renewable energy hub could also help to attract new industries to set up in Collie including processing of critical minerals," she said.

In addition, the low-cost energy generated by the hub will advantage existing businesses in Collie and encourage the expansion of manufacturing and minerals processing.