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Fortescue continues community consultation for major renewable energy hub

Fortescue Future Industries is inviting Esperance residents to “join the global green energy revolution” by taking part in a community information session on Wednesday.

The company has earmarked Esperance as the location for a potential major renewable energy hub because of the region’s wind and solar resources.

Australia West FFI director Maia Schweizer said they expected the project to bring significant benefits to Esperance and surrounding communities.

“There will be direct and indirect jobs in trades, administration, procurement, engineering, community engagement and environmental management,” they said.

“The project itself will create a new industry, with longevity, within the region. This will help diversify Esperance’s economy.”

Ms Schweizer said the company was confident the quality of the wind and solar resources in the region would support the development of a green hydrogen hub.

“With the global energy crisis and mounting direct evidence of climate change increasing the urgency of lowering our emissions, we are seeing a rapid ramp up in demand globally for green energy. We know there are buyers for the energy from this region,” she said.

She told the Kalgoorlie Miner they had spent the past year working to better understand farmers, pastoralists and native title parties who own the majority of the land on which the project would be built and operated.

“We have entered into agreements with a number of farmers already and held meetings in Cascade and Condingup so that they can come together and discuss their land with us on a collective basis,” Ms Schweizer explained.

“It is important at this early stage that we understand how we need to shape the project so that we can coexist and share benefits for the decades to come.”

She explained the company was acutely aware of issues with housing availability within the region, and they aimed to not exacerbate the problem.

“One of the first things we did when considering the Esperance region was to undertake a housing and accommodation analysis, which said that there is sufficient land available to build housing to meet our needs,” Ms Schweizer explained.

The community information session will be held at Esperance Bay Yacht Club on Wednesday from 10am to 6pm. Formal presentations on the project will be made at noon and 6pm.

More sessions will be scheduled in Grass Patch and other areas to continue the conversation.

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