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Billionaire mining magnate makes 'one of the biggest' commitments to clean energy projects in nation's history: 'The time for talk is over'

"If the crabby, backwards old mining industry can do it, so can everyone else."

"If the crabby, backwards old mining industry can do it, so can everyone else."

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest is demonstrating his dedication to a healthier future after agreeing to invest in projects that will meet one-third of Australia's clean-energy goals. 

Reuters reported in January that Forrest's commitment is "one of the biggest" in the country, and wind, solar, and battery projects are expected to be in the works. 

"The time for talk is over. We are investing right now in Australia's green-energy transition and creating jobs and economic development for regional Australia," Forrest announced at a groundbreaking ceremony for the 414-megawatt Uungula wind farm in New South Wales. 

According to the news outlet, the commitment has provided hope that Australia will still be able to meet its goal of having 82% of its electricity come from renewable sources by 2030. The federal government previously denied a proposal for wind turbines at the Port of Hastings.

Powering our world with renewable energy like wind is much better for our health, as dirty-energy fuels like coal, oil, and gas release harmful pollutants into our air. However, nonprofit Environment Victoria reported that Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek vetoed the project because of the "clearly unacceptable" risk to the local ecosystem. 

While plans are still in the early stages after Forrest's announcement, Reuters noted that Squadron Energy signed a 2.75 billion Australian dollar (approximately $1.81 billion) deal with GE Vernova to provide wind turbines for Uungula and two other projects. 

Squadron Energy, which focuses on renewables and is owned by the Forrest family's investment company Tattarang, is slated to lead the forthcoming eco-friendly initiatives.

Forrest is also the founder and executive chairman of Fortescue, which was founded in 2003. 

The company states on its website that it is "focused on becoming the number one integrated green technology, energy, and metals company." Green hydrogen, green ammonia, and hydroelectric (water power) are among the projects listed, and Fortescue intends to scale up its use of cleaner technologies.

Forrest has received some criticism for the company's heavily polluting mining practices and negative environmental impact, as detailed by the Washington Post, but the latest investment seems to indicate belief in a world powered by renewable energy.

"I'm saying to the industrial world, if the crabby, backwards, old mining industry can do it, so can everyone else," Forrest told Agence France-Presse, as reported by Barron's. 

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