Freo's View

ENJOYING SOLAR POWER WITHOUT SOLAR PANELS

Posted in city of fremantle, electricity, solar, Uncategorized by freoview on July 17, 2018

 

I took the info below from Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt’s blog:

Would you like to have access to  locally produced, green, solar energy without having solar panels on your roof?

The RENeW Nexus Participant Trial is entering its first data collection and analysis phase, and are seeking interested parties to join existing participants in the next phase – a peer-to-peer energy trading trial across the City of Fremantle.

This trial will enable participants with renewable energy systems (prosumers) to trade their surplus energy with Fremantle residents who do not own a system (consumers), providing them with a cleaner, more sustainable energy alternative across the network.

As one of the world’s first trials of its kind, participation is an exciting opportunity to be at the forefront of the energy transition.

If you own a private residential property within the City of Fremantle LGA and do not own a renewable energy system, you are invited to express your interest by replying to RENeW Nexus <renew.nexus@curtin.edu.au>

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FREMANTLE SMART CITIES PROJECT

Posted in city of fremantle, environment, solar, sustainability, Uncategorized by freoview on May 2, 2018

 

nexus

 

RENeW Nexus is the recently announced Smart Cities Project that will be running in Fremantle supported by Curtin Uni, Murdoch Uni, Synergy, Landcorp, Powerledger, Western Power,  the City of Fremantle, and the Australian Government through the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.

RENeW Nexus is seeking City of Fremantle Residents Expression of Interest in  the project and is after residents who:

Have solar PV and/or a rainwater tank, want to better understand their energy and water consumption and generation, are interested in the future of smart cities.

For more information, and to register your interest now, follow the link:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/renewnexus

A drop-in information session will be held on Friday 18th May 2018 between 14.30 and 18.30, location to be announced. EOI close on 25th May 2018

Contact: renew.nexus@curtin.edu.au

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SOLAR FARM COMMUNITY HEALTH CONCERNS

Posted in city of fremantle, community, family, health, local government, pollution, solar, Uncategorized by freoview on April 19, 2018

 

The public gallery at the Ordinary Council meeting in North Fremantle last night was packed full with people, many of them families and children with placards.

They were there for the Solar Farm Business Plan item on the agenda, that deals with the proposal for the solar farm on the former heavily contaminated South Fremantle tip site.

Most speakers supported the Solar  Farm but were very worried about possible health implications for the community if the contaminated soil gets disturbed. They wanted to be assured that all possible safeguards would be in place to make sure that the health of their children would not be affected by any work on the site.

One man in his ignorance claimed that Council had underhandedly sneaked the Solar Farm through without public consultation, when in fact this has been on the public record for nearly a decade and the public consultation process will start with the planning application, since that is a legal requirement. Last night’s item was only about starting a business plan.

The unsuccessful recent South Fremantle election candidate thundered “Shame on you council!” for ignoring the consultation process, but that is factually wrong. She must have forgotten that she attended the community consultation meeting in the Townhall organised by the solar farm proponents and she should also know how due process at local government works and that every box has to be ticked under the local government act, and that the Solar Farm proposal was widely reported in the local media.

It is very frustrating to time and time again hear members of the community complain they did not know anything about planning proposals and blame council for their own ignorance, when these plans have been announced on the City’s weekly page in the Herald and reported in the Fremantle Herald, Fremantle Gazette, on Freo’s View, on the CoF website, Facebook and other social media platforms.

To claim that Councillors try to sneak a planning proposal past the community without them noticing it is insulting and laughable, as it would be in contradiction to the Local Government Act. Our elected members are not crooks who do sinister deals the community is left in the dark about!

Mayor Brad Pettitt assured the public gallery that Council would only approve the proposal if it was safe for the community.

The community needs to take ownership and has the onus to inform itself as one cannot realistically expect to receive a letter in the mail for every new plan in the city.

Health issues are extremely important for the Solar Farm proposal and under the Contaminated Sites Register and EPA laws stringent environmental guidelines will have to be adhered to if any soil disturbance is to occur, and we all will make sure that it will be monitored daily! I too live not far from the site and the southerly wind could easily blow contaminated dust here where there is also a primary school.

Roel Loopers

FROM THE FREO FPOL COMMITTEE

 

The Fremantle Council Finance, Policy, Operations and Legislation Committee last night approved all, but one, items on the agenda. Some of them will have to go through full council next week before being implemented though.

  • The contract for J Shed between the City of Fremantle and Sunset Venues will be changed for a smaller venue. The Director of City Business explained that is not a planning approval, so the proposed  300 patron tavern might still be stopped when and if Sunset Venues applies for it and for a liquor license.
  • The Solar Farm also got the tick of approval but Councillor Andrew Sullivan said he would have liked to see officers explore the possibility and costs of remediation of the site as it might well be profitable if it could be developed for residential living.
  • The new Precinct Policy was also adopted with Councillor Andrew Sullivan saying he never saw the need for precincts to be managed by the City, as community groups should rise and fall depending on the interest and participation of residents.
  • The contract for Fremantle Oval with the South Fremantle Football Club will also go ahead, so the footy club is getting all their Christmases at once. It appears they have been playing a bit of hard ball with CoF, so I am not sure why we so desperately need the club at the oval as it will not generate any income for the City. Not even the outgoings for power, water, etc. have reached an agreement yet. Councillor Rachel Pemberton was very worried about the big LED sign and said the City should make sure that the SFFC would not put up more of them.

Roel Loopers

 

MORE FROM THE FREMANTLE PLANNING COMMITTEE

 

More from the Fremantle Council Planning Committee:

  • A small bar and deli for 29 Leighton Beach Boulevard in North Fremantle was approved by the City of Fremantle Planning Committee last night after many people spoke for and against it.

One of the main concerns was noise from the alfresco area rising up to the balconies of residents because of the hard surface below.

It is a fair concern that could be addressed if council insisted on noise control, such as carpeting the alfresco area and putting a soft noise reducing top over it and plants around it, but a small amendment only addressed the area of alfresco activity and that it could not expand.

  • The development proposal for a cafe/restaurant next to Frank’s the butcher in Wray Avenue came back to the Planning Committee, after the proponent had taken the plans to the State Administrative Tribunal after they were rejected by council. The committee last night was adamant. that not enough changes had been made and that parking in the very popular hub was already and issue that could not cope with another cafe, so the proposal was rejected again.
  • The Solar Farm on the former tip site in South Fremantle was approved. Concerns about contaminated dust were deemed unnecessary as the site will be monitored while it is largely without control now.

It is a bit of a surprise that people now are concerned about contaminated dust when a solar farm will be built over the surface and no doubt acts as dust reduction and the site will be professionally managed. A very good outcome I believe.

  • Bad acoustics in the North Fremantle Hall is still an issue and the large public gallery which included twenty Curtin University students had to move chairs to the sides to get closer to be able to hear the Councillors and staff. Unacceptable.
  • A rather farcical situation at the start of the meeting when chair Jon Strachan ruled that all public submissions would be heard before the committee deliberated, but he was overruled by his colleagues who wanted the procedure to remain as it is and that the public speaks before each item which is then debated by committee. It means that people who are not interested in other items on the agenda don’t have to sit through the entire meeting, so it is a basic courtesy to the community.

Roel Loopers

 

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INNOVATIVE SOLAR ROAD TRIAL FOR FREMANTLE

 

railless tram

Railless tram with road sensors

Solar Farm

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt and Councillors Ingrid Waltham and Adin Lang with South Fremantle Solar Farm proponents

 

Fremantle is more and more becoming a leader in sustainability! Fremantle Council will from July this year start a trial of solar power collection through panels glued onto the road surface.

Stage One of the One Planet trial will be the panels installed along South Terrace including Market Street all the way to the new Solar Farm which will be constructed on the former South Fremantle tip site.

If the first six months are successful the trial area will be expanded to include Carrington and Hampton roads and South Street and Marine Terrace, with further expansion of the solar collection area likely.

The trial will use new wireless Internet of Everything(IoE) technology similar to the railless tram sensors, but instead of supplying energy the large Fremantle panels will collect it. The collected solar power will feed into the new Solar Farm and will supply part of the city’s energy.

Fremantle has been proudly showing its environmental awareness with its carbon neutral credentials for years and is building on that. The new civic centre at Kings Square will have an eight star green rating and the new Cappuccino Strip carpark that just opened on Thursday has solar lights, run off water collection and charging points for electric cars. The solar panels on road surfaces is another brilliant and innovative way of caring for our planet.

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE SOLAR FARM RAISES MANY QUESTIONS

Posted in city of fremantle, environment, local government, solar, sustainability, Uncategorized by freoview on March 2, 2018

 

Around sixty people attended the Townhall information session by the City of Fremantle and EPURON about the proposed solar farm in South Fremantle on Thursday evening.

EPURON plans to put a solar farm on 6.5 hectare of the former waste disposal site that is heavily contaminated and registered under the Contaminated Sites Act 2003.

The EPURON spokes person said that contamination remediation would be required and monitoring of gas and groundwater levels, but that the company planned minimum disturbance of the soil and the ground surface would be sealed off.

EPURON has been building and operating large and medium solar and wind farms since 2003 and has six new projects under way in six states. It operates five solar farms in Australia at present.

They want to develop, construct, own and operate the ground-mounted solar farm that will be made of pre-fabricated  modular blocks on concrete strips plus one or two inverters of up to three metres high.

Construction of the site would only be four months and substantial setbacks from Fremantle Village and roads and paths would be implemented.

There was concern raised by some members of the public and some questions were taken on notice, such as the monitoring of radiation and noise levels, so the community will expect more answers before it will feel comfortable that the site is not going to create health hazards for anyone nearby or wherever the prevailing winds might carry dust that could be toxic.

What is ‘minimum disturbance of the soil? How will levelling of the soil happen without disturbance? Will toxic soil be removed from the site, if so how and where to?

Most people in Fremantle would no doubt be happy to see a solar farm and the site used but there must be water tight guarantees about public health first.

Roel Loopers

SOLAR FARM PLANS FOR SOUTH FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, energy, environment, local government, solar, Uncategorized by freoview on February 20, 2018

 

A development application has been submitted to the City of Fremantle by Australian energy renewal company EPURON to build a solar farm on the former South Fremantle landfill site.

The proposed solar farm will cover approximately 8 hectares of the 19.4 hectare landfill site on Cockburn Road and produce up to 4.9 megawatts of power.

The CoF has been looking at what to do with the site since 1985 but because it is a contaminated site it is very limited what can be done there.

Previous interest to build a solar farm on the site were abandoned after the companies did their financial due diligence. If Fremantle Council approves the application it will be the first urban solar farm of this scale in Australia.

The former landfill site is owned by the City of Fremantle and will be leased to Epuron to develop the project.

Epuron has been developing large scale wind energy projects since 2003 and solar photovoltaic facilities since 2010, including a 3.1 MW project in Alice Springs and a 2 MW project at Yulara in the Northern Territory.

The development application is open for public comment until 30 March 2018 and a community information session will be held at the Fremantle Town Hall on 1 March 2018, starting at 6pm.

Roel Loopers

CARNEGY WAVE ENERGY GOES SOLAR

Posted in energy, environment, fremantle, solar, sustainability, technology by freoview on October 27, 2016

Fremantle based Carnegy Wave Energy has acquired 100% of the Australian Energy Made Clean solar company, adding 65% of the shares to the 35% they already had.

AEMC are specialists in the design, construction and operation of microgrids and large-scale commercial solar projects and storage systems.

Carnegie managing director Michael Ottaviano said that “The potential for the global microgrid market is estimated at US$40 billion by 2020. This acquisition unlocks Carnegie’s ability to deliver a unique, in-house capability to capitalize on a rapidly growing segment of the renewable energy market globally.

“Microgrids are increasingly a major part of the renewable energy market as they can deliver cost competitive, clean power and energy security.”

 

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FREO LOOKING AT A SOLAR FUTURE

Posted in electricity, environment, fremantle, solar by freoview on October 12, 2016

solar

 

That’s a lot of solar panels on South Terrace in Fremantle. Good on them!

I hope though that one day solar panels will look more like roof tiles as those big panels don’t look great on low buildings.

Installing solar has become much cheaper and new technology now also allows for storage of excess power, so bring it on.

Rain water storage should become compulsory for new houses as it is such a waste to see all that rain run straight back into the ocean.

Roel Loopers

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