Independence Group (IGO) has contracted Zenith Energy to build a 6.7MW solar PV farm at the Nova nickel-copper mine in Western Australia - approximately 360 kilometres south east of Kalgoorlie. The solar farm is going to be added to the mine’s existing diesel power station, creating the country’s first fully-integrated commercial hybrid diesel/solar PV facility.
“This development represents the first fully-integrated commercial hybrid diesel/solar PV facility in Australia and is a step forward in future renewable energy solutions,” Zenith Energy Managing Director Hamish Moffat said.
In addition to construction, Zenith Energy will also own and operate the hybrid power station - which is expected to have a total capacity of 26MW - under an amended term agreement with IGO. This integrated facility is projected to generate up to 12.5GWh annually.
The solar farm will feature new PV modules with single axis tracking, inverters, communications and control system technology.
The solar farm is set to be completed and operational by the first quarter of the 2020 financial year, and it will supply renewable energy to the mine for an initial six-year period, with an option for IGO to extend another two years.
“The development of this innovative hybrid energy solution will also improve our cost structure with targeted renewable power insertion of up to 50 per cent of demand via the solar PV facility,” IGO Managing Director Peter Bradford said.
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