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Frontier advances plans for 114MW solar farm in WA’s southwest

https://www.pv-magazine-australia.com/2022/03/04/frontier-advances-plans-for-114mw-solar-farm-in-was-southwest/

 

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West Australian (WA) clean energy producer Frontier Energy has announced it will push ahead with the 114MWdc Bristol Springs Solar Project being developed about 120 kilometres south of Perth as part of its plan to capitalise on Australia’s quickening transition away from fossil fuels.

Perth-based Frontier, formerly mineral exploration company Superior Lake Resources, this week recommenced trading on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) after a strongly supported $8 million capital raising that the company said had validated its new clean energy strategy.

Frontier’s first renewable energy development is the Bristol Springs Solar Project being developed on a 200-hectare site near the town of Waroona.

The solar farm would have an initial generation capacity of 114MWdc but Frontier said additional land acquisition opportunities are available that could allow for an increase up to 490MW. The company also plans to assess the feasibility of adding a battery energy storage system.

Frontier managing director Mike Young said Bristol Springs is well advanced with development approval granted by the WA Regional Development Assessment Panel, an electricity connection application already in progress and world-class supporting infrastructure to ensure rapid advancement towards production.

The project is being developed about 15km from the town of Waroona.

Image: Frontier Energy

Young, a former managing director at Vimy Resources, said the project is ideally located between the industrial centre of Kwinana, the Port of Bunbury, and the town of Collie, home to the 300MW coal-fired Collie Power Station.

“The renewable energy industry offers significant growth opportunities, particularly to support nearby aluminium mining and the Collie and Kwinana industrial precincts, all of which require massive decarbonisation,” he said.

“This is why we decided to transition from mining exploration and focus on clean energy opportunities.

“The project is strategically located in the heart of WA’s southwest, one of the fastest growing regional areas in Australia. The local population and the WA government are extremely supportive and progressive regarding the future requirement for renewable energy solutions in the region.”

Young said the project will also have the advantage of “excellent supporting infrastructure” and a highly skilled local workforce, “giving it an advantage over similar but more isolated projects”.

The company said proceeds from the capital raising will be used to advance the project, including completing a solar front end engineering design and undertaking a range of studies relating to the project.

The project would connect into the South West Interconnected System.

Image: Western Power

Frontier said it will also investigate other renewable energy projects to build its portfolio.

“One area we are keen to assess is production of green hydrogen,” Young said.

“This is in line with the WA government’s plan to produce and export green hydrogen by 2030 in the same quantity as LNG gas produced for export,” he said.

“This strategy, led by Hydrogen Minister Alannah MacTiernan, has highlighted the need for WA green energy projects and hydrogen manufacturing capability.

“We will also look at investing in other renewable energy projects, such as wind projects or other solar projects.”

The board and management team contributed about $1.9 of the total $8 million capital raising including $1 million from chairman Grant Davey.

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