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Here comes the sun: getting down to business with WA’s largest solar farm

Kleenheat’s commitment to better value energy continues to shine through with a new initiative set to help ensure electricity savings can reach more WA businesses.

In a landmark WA agreement, Kleenheat has struck up a 10-year deal with local clean energy developer WestGen to buy energy and renewable energy certificates from its planned Byford Solar Farm.

Located 35kms south east of Perth, the 75-hectare site will have capacity to generate up to 30MW of electricity for the south-west integrated system (SWIS).

Constructed is slated for 2018 and will position the Byford Solar Farm as the largest of its type in WA, each year displacing approximately 67,000 tonnes carbon dioxide emissions associated with traditional coal-fired power generation.

Kleenheat General Manager Mark Gadsby said purchasing competitively-priced wholesale energy for the next decade means electricity customers in the contestable market can look forward to further savings.

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

“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.”

Shining light on the value of renewable energy

Kleenheat believes the private sector could underpin new projects to help WA meet the state’s renewable energy target and offer real cost savings to business customers.

For WestGen Director Richard Harris, the agreement highlighted renewable energy as 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,” Harris said.

“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.

About the contestable market

While WA’s energy laws currently provide no choice for the household electricity market, customers who use more than 50MW/h a year can choose where they buy their electricity. These customers form the contestable market.

Right now less than 2% of electricity customers are permitted to choose their retailer and Kleenheat stands behind any government reforms that would expand the number of electricity customers benefiting from competition.

Better value energy for home or business

Since introducing competition in the WA natural gas retail market in 2013, Kleenheat has delivered more than $15 million in savings to residential and business customers – now supplying 20% of the market.

Fact file
  • Byford Solar Farm will be the largest utility scale solar farm in WA. Emu Downs Solar Farm (20MW) is 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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