A consortium has been appointed to fill the Peel Business Park’s power needs and are tipped to begin construction on one of the state’s largest renewable energy industrial microgrids in a matter of months.
LandCorp are currently working with this consortium over the coming months to finalise the agreement for the microgrid’s construction and operation.
Set to occupy 1000 hectares in Nambeelup Industrial Area on the outskirts of Mandurah, Peel Business Park forms part of the multi-million dollar Transform Peel project.
The proposed small-scale power network will operate collaboratively with the centralised grid and will initially have a one-megawatt capacity, with plans to grow, based on demand.
Peel Development Commission has revealed construction of the microgrid will start towards the end of 2019 and is expected to come online in early 2020.
The commission’s chairwoman Paddi Creevey said she was excited to announce results of an “extensive” procurement process and labelled it a “great step forward” in the construction phase.
She said Landcorp had seen international investment interest from the likes of London and Chicago, as well as a strong response from across Asia.
“There seems to be a mixture of light industrial and small businesses wanting to come into the park. It’s still commercially confidential who those people are but we’re very pleased,” she said.
“There is a great deal of interest. Landcorp has had a number of contacts through their website for the Peel Business Park. More than any other project they’ve been involved with.”
Ms Creevey also revealed the brains behind the project had their eye on businesses with environmental accreditation for stage one, located within Lot 600, in an attempt to curb emissions.
“We want to reduce the greenhouse gases. It’ll be a great point of difference. I think this is really a fantastic opportunity for our region,” Ms Creevey told the Mandurah Mail.
“It is quite a major innovation and it has really shown that something like this will be able to deliver a great deal.
“This is going to be so very important. I think the microgrid really provides a local source of energy that’s attached to the centralised grid but can function independently.
“If you had to put in all the infrastructure for a new power source it would make the cost of energy a lot more.
It’ll be a great point of difference. I think this is really a fantastic opportunity for our region.Peel Development Commission chairwoman Paddi Creevey
“If you’re going to have businesses there, they’ve got to know they’re going to have a reliable energy source at a reduced price.
“We want to make sure that people can come in a operate their best. They’ve got to have a reliable but also more affordable source of energy.”
So far, the park’s structure plan, which details the design and layout of the development, has been created.
The land, which is roughly 10 kilometres north-east of Mandurah, has been rezoned from rural to industrial use and new signage recently erected along Lakes Road.
“We expect the construction of that to start towards the end of this year and looking early next year to see the actual grid coming online. We expect an announcement very soon on who has won the contracts for the civil works,” Ms Creevey revealed.
In the coming months, the vision for Peel Business Park will start to be realised as trunk infrastructure is created and selected roads upgraded to service the development.
“It will also have the opportunity to be connected to the reticulated gas services from the Bunbury to Dampier pipeline. As well as high-speed fibre internet, the microgrid is going to provide lower prices and provides that security and stability,” Ms Creevey said.
It is anticipated the park will create 33,100 jobs and has been designed to incorporate high technology food production, value-added processing, university-led research and development, and a range of common-use facilities.
Ms Creevey said it was an exciting time to be involved in the job-creating project.
“The investors are going to have greater access to renewable energy,” she said.
For more information on the Peel Business Park visit Landcorp’s website.
Follow Caitlyn Rintoul on Twitter via @caitlynrintoul.