Freo's View

ONE SMALL STEP CLOSER TO FREMANTLE SOLAR FARM

Posted in city of fremantle, electricity, environment, solar, Uncategorized by freoview on September 10, 2018

 

Plans for the South Fremantle Solar Farm by Epuron Projects Pty Ltd are progressing slowly.

This coming Wednesday the FPOL Committee of Fremantle Council will consider the approval of a business plan for four lots on the former landfill site, and moving toward a 25-year lease, at peppercorn rent.

Discussions between Western Power and Epuron have been going well, but the main hurdle will be to get all the environmental and health approvals for the heavily contaminated site.

Any lease between the City of Fremantle and Epuron is dependent on all the EPA approvals, and Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt has made it very clear that unless everything is above board and safe for the community the solar farm won’t proceed.

Options are considered for the City to charge higher than peppercorn rent in the future when Epuron make a significant profit.

This project is still in the early stages and more community consultation will be conducted. There are significant concerns in the South Fremantle community about the health impact on children and adults any disturbance of the toxic soil might have.

Roel Loopers

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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

AERIAL SOLAR MARKETING FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in advertising, city of fremantle, flying, local government, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on April 16, 2018

 

solar farm image

 

It might be a bit left field and out of the box, but if/when Fremantle gets its Solar Farm on the former South Fremantle tip site, could we ask the proponents to create the word FREMANTLE with the solar panels so that there is a bit of marketing for those who fly over our city.

In China there is a solar farm that looks like a panda from the air, so why not follow that lead?

Roel Loopers

DELAY FOR SPICER SITE SETTLEMENT

 

The monthly Fremantle Ordinary Council meeting will be held this coming Wednesday at 6pm and there are some interesting and controversial items listed on the agenda, so why not observe grassroots governance first hand and attend the meeting at the North Fremantle Community Hall.

On the agenda are Destination Marketing, the tavern lease for J Shed, the South Freo Solar Farm, the license with the South Fremantle Football Club for the use of Fremantle Oval, the Strategic Planning Framework, the new Precinct Policy,  and the Dog exercise areas policy.

Surprisingly listed as a confidential item is the request by Sirona Capital for the extension of the settlement for the former Spicer site, which now is the public car park on the corner of William Street and the Henderson Street mall.

The Spicer site development is part of the Kings Square Project the City of Fremantle and Sirona Capital signed off on, and an important inner city development. Why does the Council debating the settlement extension request have to be confidential and not open to the public?

By the way, the new convenor for the South Fremantle Precinct is Sean Hefferon.

 

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

 

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

NO RECYCLING AT TOWN HALL CONCERTS

Posted in fremantle by freoview on May 29, 2011

One has to wonder sometimes what goes on at the City of Fremantle. The city prides itself on being Carbon Neutral, but does not supply recycling bins at concerts and functions held in the Town Hall.

Our Mayor Brad Pettitt is a member of the Greens, a bike rider, and very conscious about the environment. He wants a solar and city farm in South Fremantle, etc.but we don’t recycle in the building where our councilors and decision makers work. That is wrong!

After the Bernard Carney Heritage Festival concert on Friday, some committee members of the Fremantle Society could not get it over their heart to dump all the empty bottles in the normal waste bins and decided to take cartons full of empties home to put it in the recycling bins there.

If individual members of the community can show so much dedication to the environment, the city should follow their example and do what they preach, not use recyclable waste as landfill.

I cannot see any reason for not supplying dedicated bins for recycling at Town Hall events. Walk the talk Freo!

Roel Loopers

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