ACEN Australia acknowledges the resilience and knowledge of the Traditional Custodians of this nation. We pay our respects to elders past and present, the many Aboriginal people that did not make their elder status and to those that continue to care for country.
ACEN and the Yindjibarndi have partnered to develop, own, and operate up to 3GW of renewable energy on the traditional country of the Yindjibarndi people in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. Yindjibarndi Energy Corporation (YEC) represents one of the largest renewable energy Indigenous partnerships in Australia, setting a new benchmark for meaningful participation by Indigenous Australians in the country’s transition to a clean energy future.
Plans include large scale wind, solar and battery storage to be in construction in the next several years. The renewable energy produced will be greater than what is currently being produced by WA’s largest coal-fired power station.
Yindjibarndi country is well-suited to renewable energy because it is located in the centre of the Pilbara, outside the Category D cyclone zone, elevated and close to existing transmission infrastructure. The Pilbara region is also home to some of the largest industrial energy users globally, many of whom have expressed a desire to participate in a transition to a carbon neutral future.
In October 2023, YEC signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Rio Tinto to explore opportunities to collaborate on renewable energy projects on Yindjibarndi country. Rio Tinto and YEC will study and evaluate a range of opportunities including wind and solar power as well as battery energy storage systems. The initial focus is on rapidly exploring the potential development of a solar power generation facility for the supply of energy to Rio Tinto.
The Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation (YAC) is a Registered Native Title Body Corporate of the Yindjibarndi People and the institution appointed by the Federal Court of Australia to represent Yindjibarndi native title rights and interests. Yindjibarndi Ngurra (country) covers approx. 13,000km² in the Pilbara region of Western Australia and includes numerous parcels of land with a variety of tenure/stakeholder interests, including the strongest form of native title, known as Exclusive Possession. In 1994, the Yindjibarndi people launched one of Australia’s very first native title claims which was determined by the Full Federal Court in 2005. The High Court of Australia affirmed Yindjibarndi Exclusive Possession rights in a second determination claim in 2020.
A new benchmark for meaningful participation
The partnership with ACEN means that the Yindjibarndi people actively participate in Australia’s renewable energy transition in a significant way.
YEC enables Yindjibarndi people to control their own destiny and the development on their Ngurra rather than other developers seeking to develop projects with limited involvement of the Yindjibarndi people.
Empowering First Nations renewable energy
“Our partnership with the Yindjibarndi is aligned on so many levels, and we’re incredibly grateful for the trust the Yindjibarndi community has put in ACEN to responsibly explore development opportunities in partnership with them on their country.” - ACEN International Chief Executive Officer, Patrice Clausse