Pic: Indigenous Business Leader Dr Kate George, Yindjibarndi leader Michael Woodley and Pilbara Solar’s Kylie Chalmers on the panel at Premiers Energy Transition Summit

With recent announcements of government financial support for the renewables industry in Western Australia, Pilbara Solar championed the need for economic empowerment of our First Nations people and this time – getting it right – at the Premier’s Energy Transition Summit last Friday 17 November.

Pilbara Solar was on the panel of renowned innovative thinkers, policy makers and industry leaders to discuss the opportunities for Western Australia in the global energy transition, during the breakout session – Bringing the community on the journey.

Dr Kate George, indigenous business leader, recently appointed chair of the Ten Sixty Four board and Putejurra woman from the Murchison-Gascoyne region of WA, reminded the audience that when engaging with First Nations people, attitudes and ways of doing things requires transformation.

“This is a journey for Aboriginal people, we have never truly been at the table…… I pick up the vibes, like the goldrush happening, but we need maturity and leadership…… it comes down to engagement and trust and the leadership to do things differently………we need to be resourced……..no good pretending it’s a level playing field.’’

Managing Director of Pilbara Solar Kylie Chalmers backed Dr George’s statement highlighting the massive divide between the financing available as well as the resources and knowledge needed to bridge the gap so that economic equity can be achieved by First Nations people.

“For Aboriginal people to lead in this transition, there needs to be investment, not only in the renewables industry but real investment in First Nations empowerment…..for commercial projects happening on Country, Aboriginal people need good advice, they need good support to understand what the opportunity could be, because it really is a once in a generation opportunity and we don’t have time to get it wrong.”

Chalmers reminded that supporting First Nations people to participate in the process is the only way to get it right as observed from other countries that went down the other path like Canada, who have now completely changed direction to really support First Nations people to participate with the renewables transition.

“We set up Pilbara Solar to contribute working models of co-ownership in this space, we thought the best way to create positive change is through tangible, physical projects that works and built up to scale – building business confidence in industry and business confidence with First Nations people.”

Pilbara Solar is leading by example and supporting First Nations to own or co-own renewable energy projects with their demonstration project –10MW Junga Solar Farm, set to commence construction next year near Port Hedland. In addition, also provides services to First Nations groups and industry partners to develop projects in the region.  

Pilbara Solar is a profit-for-purpose renewable energy development service and Aboriginal business (50% owned by Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation), delivering renewable energy projects in WA.

The Energy Transition Summit was held in conjunction with the Committee for Economic Development (CEDA) – learn more here. Follow updates from Pilbara Solar on LinkedIn and Facebook.


About Pilbara Solar

As a Profit for Purpose renewable energy company with a mission to support industry and also empower First Nations people to build and develop their own renewable energy projects on their Country.

Pilbara Solar support businesses to achieve a high standard of environmental, social and governance (ESG) by reducing their carbon footprint while supporting First Nation communities.

Our team of experts are leaders in clean energy delivering high quality utility-scale solutions with more than 30 years’ experience with dedicated local operations. We are also the Western Australian distributors of the award-winning, solar powered Gilghi water treatment plant and Digi Hub. Pilbara Solar has collectively participated in developing over 5 GW of renewable energy projects and begun development work with major companies that also want green energy with First Nations involvement. Pilbara Solar is fifty percent owned by Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (YMAC) and Supply Nation registered.

Media contact: Cherelle Danker, Communications Coordinator

Email: media@pilbarasolar.com.au or mobile 0419 856 768