Fremantle Community Windfarm Cooperative seeks to establish a windfarm in North Fremantle

Windfarm would benefit port: Jamie Ally.d388778
Windfarm would benefit port: Jamie Ally.d388778

THE delay in approval for a North Fremantle windfarm has already seen more than $8 million in revenue lost, according to the Fremantle Community Windfarm Cooperative.

Spokesman Jamie Ally said the figure assumed a start date of 2011, which was when the project was reintroduced to Fremantle Ports after the idea was first brought up in the ’90s.

‘It’s calculated using the energy yield estimates from our engineering models, multiplied by a value of electricity that was provided to Fremantle Ports by a consultant in a Wind Power Scoping Study,’ he said.

‘This is revenue that has literally blown past Fremantle Ports and the residents of Fremantle because with every day that passes, electricity is generated from fossil fuels rather than Fremantle’s natural wind resources.’

He said Fremantle Ports’ unwillingness to discuss a land access agreement with the co-operative, which would see them lease port land to build the community-owned windfarm, was the reason the project could not get off the ground.

Fremantle Ports has been consistent in its opposition to the windfarm since 2012, saying it was concerned about potential effects on residents, such as silent health impacts due to ambient noise.

Mr Ally said the economics for the project were strong and getting better every year and the location was ideal for a windfarm.

‘It is a business opportunity for the local community to invest in a renewable energy asset and receive a return on their investment,’ he said.

‘It will implement utility-scale renewables in an existing industrial precinct which already has a noise and visual profile that exceeds that of a windfarm and in close proximity to an urban area where people can become more familiar with the look and feel of renewables.

‘The port would have the opportunity to buy electricity from the windfarm at a fixed price for the life of the project, which could be considered a great advantage considering how steeply energy prices are rising in the State.’

Fremantle MLA Simone McGurk said she believed there was a lot of support for the proposal.