Andrew Forrest snaps up Pilbara and Gascoyne cattle stations for green energy production

Australian mining billionaire Andrew Forrest has continued his land acquisition in Western Australia, purchasing another three cattle stations in the state’s north-west to generate renewable energy.

Emu Creek Station in the Pilbara and Ella Valla Station in the Gascoyne have recently been sold for undisclosed amounts, with the sale of the Gascoyne’s Yalbago Station currently underway.

The properties were bought by Mr Forrest’s green energy business, Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) as part of plans to decarbonise the mining billionaire’s operations by 2030.

The stations will continue to run cattle to fulfill obligations under the Western Australian Land Administration Act (1997), but the key focus will be on producing renewable energy, according to FFI director-western states Maia Schweizer.

A white tin sign welcoming you to Emu Creek Station hangs on white wood before a blue sky
Emu Creek Station will become home to a major renewable energy hub, run by Fortescue Future Industries.(ABC: Lucia Bell)

FFI is planning to build a renewable energy hub to power Fortescue Metals Group’s Eliwana iron ore mine, about 170 kilometers west of Emu Creek and Uaroo Stations.

The hub would consist of 340 wind turbines alongside solar panels across Emu Creek and Uaroo Stations, in a development envelope of more than 65,000 hectares of land and a disturbance footprint of more than 10,000 hectares.

The wind turbines could be built in areas where cattle grazed, and the solar panels would be installed in less productive parts of the station, Ms Schweizer said.

A map with dots and squares outlining where renewable energy generators will be built.A map with dots and squares outlining where renewable energy generators will be built.
FFI’s renewable energy hub would generate enough energy to power the greater Perth region.(Supplied: Fortescue Future Industries)

More than 5 gigawatts of energy is expected to be produced out of the hub — enough to power an entire city.

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