Mining company Gold Fields is turning towards renewable energy to help power the Granny Smith gold mine in Western Australia. In addition, Gold Fields has contracted Aggreko to deliver a hybrid solar and battery storage facility at the mine.
Aggreko will design, construct as well as operate the solar farm and battery storage facility. The solar farm will comprise of more than 20,000 solar panels that will be generating up to 8MW of renewable energy. On the other hand, the battery storage will have a capacity of approximately 2MW and it is set to power services at the mine, including the photovoltaic ramp rate control, transient voltage and frequency support, and spinning reserve displacement.
“We are thrilled to reach an agreement with Aggreko for the design, installation and operation of this innovative source of renewable energy which will generate nearly enough power to run the mine’s processing operations.
“We expect the renewable power microgrid will be up and running at Granny Smith by Q4 2019 and it will be a welcome addition to our suite on-site energy solutions across other operations which will enable us to reduce our carbon footprint,” Gold Fields Executive Vice President Australasia Stuart Mathews said.
Construction of the hybrid renewable energy facility is expected to commence in May of this year and it is set to become one of the largest hybrid off-grid microgrids in the world.
Once it is completed, the solar farm and battery storage will be integrated with Aggreko’s existing 24.2MW natural gas generation. This solar, thermal and battery storage operations will be seemlessly integrated as well as managed by Aggreko’s control software platform in order to maintain full system availability and lifetime optimisation of the existing thermal assets.
“The solar-plus-battery system is projected to reduce fuel consumption by 10-13% - the equivalent of removing 2,000 cars from the road - and produce about 18GWh of clean energy per year,” Aggreko AusPac Managing Director George Whyte said.
In 2016, Aggreko also delivered the current power station at the Granny Smith mine - located approximately 740 kilometres north east of Perth.
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