Solar farm plan heats up
CITY of Fremantle councillors have approved the business plan for an urban solar farm at a former South Fremantle landfill site.
According to a report from the Department of Water and Environment Regulation, the former landfill site along Cockburn Road is classified a contaminated site because sand caps that cover the waste may include asbestos-containing material.
The lease would be for 25 years, with rent reviews every three years to allow the City to instigate commercial rent if profitability increases.
The lease would not be executed until all approvals are granted by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation for both the development and lease to Eupron.
Separate council processes and more community consultation would be held about environmental concerns.
“Environmental concerns and conditions of development approval are being dealt with through preparation of site and construction management plans,” the report said.
Deputy Mayor Ingrid Waltham said she was glad it was at this stage.
“I am glad if we can give the land some use,” she said. “The site currently generates no income for the City and the environmental constraints mean any permanent development is not feasible for many years.
“The idea of developing a solar farm was endorsed by the council in 2013 on the basis that the solar panel structures could be positioned above the surface of the soil and require little or no excavation or disturbance of what is a contaminated site.
“However, the council has been very clear that we will not let this development proceed unless we are satisfied it is safe to do so.
“The community’s safety is our absolute priority.”