Frontier Energy acquires additional land at Bristol Springs solar project

Frontier Energy ASX FHE additional land Bristol Springs solar project Western Australia
As well as producing solar energy at Bristol Springs, Frontier Energy plans to generate green hydrogen.

Perth-based junior Frontier Energy (ASX: FHE) has entered into exclusive options to acquire 6.51 square kilometres of land adjacent to its Bristol Springs solar project in Western Australia’s southwest region.

The project currently occupies an area of 1.95sq km, with forecast solar production of 114Mwdc (defined conditions).

Exercising the options will increase its total landholding by 334%.

Strategic value

The new ground has strategic value for Frontier’s long-term goal of producing more than 500 megawatts solar energy to power its green hydrogen strategy.

It will be included in a hydrogen expansion study being completed by consultant Xodus Group which is on track to be released next month.

Preliminary results from the study indicate Frontier could be producing fuel “significantly earlier” than anticipated at Bristol Springs.

Funding options

Frontier is reviewing a number of funding options, including sale and leaseback arrangements whereby a property fund could acquire the land options.

Frontier would then enter into a long-term lease with the property fund (on standard commercial terms for comparable properties) with an option to acquire the property, as well as debt and equity funding structures.

The company said a number of property funds have expressed interest in acquiring the land.

Renewable energy demand

Frontier said there had been a “notable shift” in long-term demand for renewable energy in WA and across the rest of the country.

The demand is believed to be driven by government policy and proposed changes to legislation, which support the company expanding its landholding around Bristol Springs.

The changes include the government’s announcement in May that it would explore the implementation of a renewable hydrogen target to support growth of the renewable hydrogen industry.

More recently, the government said it would close the state’s last remaining coal-fired power operation near Collie by the end of the decade.

The 340Mw Collie plant will cease operations by the end of 2027, while the 854MW Muja power station units will shut down by 2029.

The government said it planned to invest an estimated $3.8 billion in new green power infrastructure around WA.

In June, Frontier disposed of shares held in Athena Resources (ASX: AHN), realising $250,000 in proceeds which are being used to fund the option fee payments.

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