We know our country is well located for renewable energy development, so we made the decision early to lead.
That's Michael Woodley talking. He's chief executive of Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation.
Yindjibarndi people traditionally lived in the area near the town of Roebourne in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The area is bordered by Kariyarra and Nyamal land to the north, Ngarluma to the west, Martuthunira and Kurrama land to the south and Nyiyaparli and Palyku land to the east.
Yiyangu Pty Ltd - a company established by Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation and 100% owned by the Yindjibarndi people through the Yindjibarndi Wealth Trust - and ACEN Renewables (the listed energy platform of the Ayala Group) developed a partnership agreement in June 2023 and created Yindjibarndi Energy Corporation (YEC).
Yindjibarndi Energy Corporation plans to develop, own and operate large-scale renewable energy projects of up to 3 gigawatts (GW) in capacity in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. The first stage of the project requires an investment of more than $1 billion to generate more than 750 megawatts (MW) of solar, wind and battery storage within the next few years.
The projects will be developed on Yindjibarndi Ngurra (country) – an area covering approximately 13,000km2 within the Yindjibarndi Native Title Determination Areas. Yindjibarndi Ngurra includes numerous parcels of land with a variety of tenure / stakeholder interests, including the strongest form of native title, Exclusive Possession.
The agreement between Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation and ACEN has been framed to ensure Yindjibarndi approval of all proposed project sites, Yindjibarndi equity of 25% to 50% in all projects, preferred contracting for Yindjibarndi-owned businesses, and training and employment opportunities for Yindjibarndi people.
In October 2023, Yindjibarndi Energy Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Rio Tinto to explore opportunities to collaborate on renewable energy projects on Yindjibarndi country in the Pilbara. Rio Tinto has held a Participation Agreement and Indigenous Land Use Agreement with Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation since 2013.