Historic Partnership between ACEN and Yindjibarndi People for Renewable Energy Development in Western Australia

Representational image. Credit: Canva

ACEN, in collaboration with the Yindjibarndi people, has joined forces to establish the Yindjibarndi Energy Corporation (YEC) for the development, ownership, and operation of large-scale renewable energy projects in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. With the capacity to reach up to 3 GW, these projects will be situated on Yindjibarndi Ngurra (country), strategically located near major industrial energy users.


 The partnership between ACEN and the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation (YAC) was officially cemented in June, signifying a historic milestone in renewable energy development and sustainability. The YEC’s leadership includes both ACEN-appointed director and chairman, Anton Rohner, and Yindjibarndi-appointed director, Craig Ricato, ensuring a collaborative and impactful approach to renewable energy advancement in the region.

ACEN and the Yindjibarndi people’s partnership represents one of the largest Indigenous-led renewable energy initiatives in Australia. Together, they will collaborate on developing wind, solar, and renewable energy storage projects within the Yindjibarndi Ngurra, covering approximately 13,000 km2 within the Yindjibarndi Native Title Determination Areas.


The partnership agreement between ACEN and the Yindjibarndi people is founded on key principles, ensuring meaningful involvement and benefits for the Yindjibarndi community. These principles include obtaining Yindjibarndi approval for all proposed project sites on Yindjibarndi Ngurra, providing Yindjibarndi equity participation ranging from 25% to 50% in all projects, offering preferred contracting opportunities for Yindjibarndi-owned businesses, and creating training and employment opportunities for the Yindjibarndi people. This collaborative approach exemplifies a groundbreaking step towards Indigenous-led sustainable development and empowerment in the renewable energy sector.

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The Yindjibarndi Energy Corporation (YEC) has set an ambitious initial goal of commencing construction on 750 MW of combined wind, solar, and battery storage projects in the next few years. This endeavor represents a substantial investment of over AUD $1 billion. In subsequent stages, the YEC plans to further expand its efforts by targeting an additional 2 GW to 3 GW of combined wind, solar, and battery storage projects. Once completed, the renewable energy produced by these initiatives will exceed the current output of Western Australia’s largest coal-fired power station. This demonstrates a significant stride towards sustainable energy development and reinforces the YEC’s commitment to driving positive environmental impact through Indigenous-led renewable energy initiatives.

ACEN International CEO Patrice Clausse commented: “We feel deeply honored by the trust the Yindjibarndi community has bestowed upon ACEN to work collaboratively with them in exploring development opportunities on their lands. The Pilbara region is home to some of the largest industrial energy users globally, many of whom have expressed their desire to transition to a carbon-neutral future. We are actively engaged in promising dialogues with potential off-take customers to purchase the renewable energy.”

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YAC Chief Executive Michael Woodley said: “We know that our country is well located for renewable energy development, so we made the decision early to lead. We established a small team and set out to find a partner with the right capabilities and values, which led us to ACEN.”

“The agreement with ACEN means that the Yindjibarndi people can actively participate in Australia’s renewable energy transition in a significant way that provides long-term economic benefits to our community, whilst also ensuring that we can protect and preserve all areas within Yindjibarndi Ngurra which are of cultural, spiritual, and environmental significance to us. The partnership will also create sustainable, long-term training and employment opportunities on country for our people.”

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Officer Kane Thornton praised the partnership, saying: “The agreement between the Yindjibarndi People and ACEN sets a new benchmark for meaningful participation by Indigenous Australians in the country’s transition to a clean energy future. It represents the kind of leadership and innovation that is needed to drive Australia’s equitable transition to becoming a renewable energy powerhouse.”

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ACEN has made a formidable mark in Australia’s renewable energy sector, playing a crucial role in the nation’s clean energy transition and sustainability endeavors. Through its dedicated efforts in developing and operating renewable energy assets, ACEN has contributed significantly to reinforcing Australia’s position as a global leader in renewable energy adoption. This commitment exemplifies the potential for a greener and more sustainable future, showcasing how renewable energy can drive positive change and pave the way towards a cleaner and more environmentally conscious tomorrow.

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