Optimisation work has identified a $9.5m reduction in capital costs for Frontier Energy’s 114MW solar farm (stage one) at its Bristol Spring green hydrogen project in WA. 

The Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) released last year estimated the total capital cost of the solar facility to be $166m.

This is mainly through the relocation of the Point of Connection (POC) to within 1km of the Landwehr terminal (compared to the original design that was at the same location as the solar farm and required 5km of power lines) which reduces the capital cost by approximately 50% or $9.5m compared to the PFS estimate of $19.1m.

The company says the Landwehr terminal is a major differentiator for the project because it allows for unused excess solar energy to be sold whilst using the grid to act as an effective battery to power the electrolyser (hydrogen production) during off peak solar periods.

Not to mention, Landwehr is a substation connected to 300kV transmission lines – the largest of their kind on the WA electricity grid.

DFS on track for March

“With costs continuing to rise across all industries due to global inflation and supply chain pressures, to have such a significant capital reduction identified is pleasing,” Frontier Energy (ASX:FHE) MD Sam Lee Mohan said.

“This should ensure we do not see a cost blowout for the total 114MW solar farm (PFS estimate $166m), when the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) is completed in March 2023.”

A review of all capital estimates for the project, as well as the 36MW electrolyser, are being finalised and will be incorporated in the DFS.

WA pursues green hydrogen targets

During 2022, the WA government announced plans to close state-owned coal power stations Muja and Collie by 2029 (Muja 854MW and Collie 340MW) and committed $3.5 billion in spending to assist in replacing this coal power energy with new renewable energy developments.

And the State Government continues to announce major decarbonisation targets, which Mohan says strengthen the strategic importance of the project given its unique location to major infrastructure.

“Recent moves include planned legislation for net zero by 2050, 2030 gas emissions reduction target of 80% (compared to 2020) for all government agencies, and potentially most important for our project, the government is targeting 1% of the state’s electricity generation to be powered by green hydrogen,” he said.

“These policy positions are progressive for the industry as a whole and we will continue working with the Government to ensure that timing for implementation does not slip.

“These targets and commitments continue to enhance the project’s strategic importance, given that it is the only major renewable energy project (scalable to +1GW) that also connects to the unconstrained 330kV terminal and lines while being adjacent to the Dampier to Bunbury Gas Pipeline.”




This article was developed in collaboration with Frontier Energy, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.