New approach to Freo solar farm
September 7, 2015 4 Comments
The Australian-based Epuron will enter into a 12 month exclusive working agreement period with the City. This will allow for due diligence, resolution of environmental and other regulatory approval matters and to seek a customer(s) for a power purchasing agreement (which may include the City of Fremantle). The construction and operation of the solar farm would be fully funded by Epuron.
The new arrangement follows the recent withdrawal of First Solar, the initial project proponent announced in February 2015, who recently advised the City that it would no longer be pursuing the project due to what it considered limited site capacity and market issues.
While disappointed First Solar couldn’t make the project viable, I am encouraged by Epuron’s enthusiasm for the innovative project.
It’s obviously disappointing that First Solar has withdrawn from this project but we thank them for their interest and time spent undertaking due diligence. At the same time, this provides an opportunity for a new set of eyes to look at the project, which is what Epuron will be doing. We now look forward to working with Epuron to ensure this underutilised environment can be transformed into a productive renewable energy source for Fremantle.
Epuron Director Andrew Durran said he was confident his company could make the project work as a commercially viable business while also boosting the local Fremantle economy.
“We’re really excited to be working on this project with the City of Fremantle and although there are challenges, we don’t see them being insurmountable. With a fresh approach we’re confident we can get a solar farm up and running that will not only be commercially viable for us, but will also benefit the local community and the environment.”
The solar farm concept aligns with the City’s vision of becoming a zero carbon city and has the added benefit of creating local jobs.
Epuron http://www.epuron.com.au/ has been developing wind and solar energy projects in Australia since its formation in 2003. Their track record includes:
- Uterne Solar, providing 4.1 Megawatts of solar power to Alice Springs (pictured below)
- Cullerin Range Wind Farm, the best performing wind farm in the NEM
- TKLN Solar providing PV power to 3 remote communities in the Northern Territory
- Gullen Range Wind Farm, the largest operating wind farm in NSW
- Silverton Wind Farm, the largest proposed wind farm in Australia