Residents air concerns about South Fremantle solar farm at public forum

The proposed urban solar farm.
The proposed urban solar farm.

RESIDENTS in South Fremantle have raised concerns regarding the safety of the site of a proposed urban solar farm in a public meeting last night.

The former landfill site along Cockburn Road is classified a contaminated site as sand caps which cover the landfill waste may include asbestos-containing material – according to a report from the Department of Water and Environment Regulation.

Residents raised concerns about the monitoring of noise from the solar farm, radiation, protection from vandalism and how to manage the risk of dust from the site.

Epuron senior project manager Anthony Melov said the company had been in collaboration with the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources.

“They are a key stakeholder in the project and we also hired another company to help with gas monitoring,” he said,

“We are mitigating the risk as most of the work involves minimal ground disturbance.

“The cabling, the actual products are all above ground.”

Mr Melov said if any ground needed to be disturbed then “rigorous pre-testing would occur before any digging” happened.

He said the proposed solar farm at full capacity could power 800 to 1000 homes in the Fremantle area.

“The construction of the farm will take four months and will employ 30 local contractors,” he said.

“There will be times where there may be excess power produced by the farm into the grid.

“There will be no battery storage but as the cost keeps going down we will most likely retrofit battery storage.

“If the electricity grid goes down then so would we and we would have to wait for the people of Western Power to fix it.”

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said the council was aware of the site’s risks.

“Epuron have been very cautious in its site management,” he said.

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