Here comes the sun. Byford Solar Farm sees light of day

In a landmark agreement for WA, Kleenheat has entered into a binding 10-year agreement with clean energy company WestGen, to buy energy and renewable energy certificates generated from WestGen’s proposed Byford Solar Farm, to be located 35kms south east of Perth.

The capital cost of the 75-hectare project at Byford in the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale, is around $70 million and will have capacity to generate up to 30MW of electricity for the south-west integrated system (SWIS).

Expected to be commissioned early in 2018, it will be the largest solar farm of its type in WA and will displace approximately 67,000 tonnes per annum of carbon dioxide emissions associated with traditional coal-fired power generation.

Kleenheat General Manager Mark Gadsby said the opportunity to purchase competitively-priced wholesale energy for the next decade meant further savings for electricity customers in the contestable market.

“This is a way of securing the best price for the energy at its source, strengthening our ability to compete in the market to secure and retain business customers in the contestable electricity space,” said Mr Gadsby.

“This agreement presents a real opportunity for the Kleenheat business and sits well with our model of offering great service and competitive prices for our customers.”

Mr Gadsby said the private sector was capable of underpinning new renewables projects to help WA meet the state’s renewable energy target and offer real cost savings to business customers.

He said Kleenheat was supportive of any government reforms that would expand the number of electricity customers that could benefit from competition, noting that at present less than two per cent of electricity customers are permitted to choose their retailer.

He added that since Kleenheat introduced competition in the WA natural gas retail market four years ago, it had delivered over $15 million in savings to its residential and business customers compared to the regulated tariff and was now supplying 20 per cent of the market with discounted gas.

WestGen Director Richard Harris said the agreement with Kleenheat showed that renewable energy was a commercially viable option in WA.

“With technological advances and economies of scale, large-scale renewable energy developers can offer more and more competitively-priced and reliable supply that is environmentally sustainable,” said Mr Harris. 

“Byford is a 75-hectare solar project that will employ sun-tracking technology and be battery ready.

“In WA, solar projects deliver energy in a way that is particularly useful to the SWIS grid, and this is where WestGen considers Byford Solar Farm so exciting.”

Mr Harris said WestGen had the most experienced renewable energy development team in WA and was keen to grow its portfolio of clean energy projects in the State.

Fact file

Byford Solar Farm will be the largest utility scale solar farm in WA; at 20MW, Emu Downs Solar Farm is the next largest
Byford Solar Farm is the only utility scale solar farm in a metropolitan area in Australia
The project is expected to deliver up to 100 jobs at peak construction

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Kleenheat is an energy solutions provider in Western Australia and the Northern Territory, retailing natural gas to residential and commercial markets, and electricity to businesses in WA.

Media: Natasha Mutch | Corporate Communications Manager| M: 0437 301 796|
E: nmutch@wescef.com.au